During the University of Nebraska's summer camps this last year, junior Ryan Fisicaro saved the best for last. In the "Fastest Man" competition, Ryan proved to be just that, reeling off a blistering 4.33 forty.
A surprise to some, not to Ryan as speed is something he's used to having, Fisicaro being the reigning state 100 meter champ. In fact, repeating that particular feat is just one of Ryan's many goals, but he's not looking to "settle" for just a win. "I'd like to get the record," Fisicaro said of besting the 10.56 time set back in 1982 by Omaha Burke's Willie Vinson. "I'd like to do that and win the 200 meter as well."
With a best-time of 10.74 in the 100, the time that garnered him the gold medal in last year's gold-medal round and a 22.44 in the 200 that's only four tenths of a second off of last year's winning time set by Kearney High's Brent Richardson, Ryan likes his chances. "I think I can do it," he said. "It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but that's what I am shooting for this year."
Ryan will also compete in the 4 X 100 as the anchor, but you get the point from all of this; this kid is fast.
Fast and elusive as Ryan used his myriad of abilities in combination with his impressive 6 foot, 2 inch frame to average over 7 yards a carry on the year for Creighton Prep as the "Jays" ultimately went on to avenge their state title-loss to Millard North the previous year with a 21-7 victory.
Now, it's not football-time, it's the so-called off-season as he prepares for his final season of track and then back to the gridiron. But, first, he's got at least one stop to make.
At least locally, there's not much more Ryan needs to prove as far as what he is capable of doing. He's done that, looking more to top himself. And, THAT is the reason why he's heading to the junior combine, because it's just another opportunity to see where he's at and more importantly, where he needs to go. "I got the invitation and I just thought it was something I might want to do," Ryan said. "It's just to see where I am at and see if I can improve in some areas and maybe learn something as well."
Track and field is what some might easily consider Ryan's forte'. Ryan would acknowledge that he's obviously pretty good at what he does. He would also say, though, that while he eyes track for what it is, he looks at football as what he would like to do. "I've always wanted to play football," Fisicaro said. "I'd love to get a chance to go to school and play sports while I'm there and that's what I am hoping to do."
You look at his measurables and you probably don't' see a problem with Ryan getting attention from schools at the next level. Point of fact, he hasn't as he's already received letters from the likes of Iowa, Notre Dame and of course, Nebraska.
The letters don't have Fisicaro dreaming quite yet of the Division 1-A gridiron. In fact, he's not thinking much of it at all. "Yeah, it's just something I don't think a lot about right now," he said. "There's a long time between now and then and I'll be exploring whatever options I have."
The option of Nebraska, seemingly the obsession instead for most kids growing up in the state of Nebraska, it is and isn't for Fisicaro. "Of course I am a Husker fan," he said. "You can't grow up in this state and not be. But, it's not like I am waiting for that offer. I have to look at all the options, so that I am prepared for the future no matter what happens and honestly, right now, I am just not thinking that far ahead."
Even in the short-life of Fisicaro's young adulthood, he's seen his Nebraska Cornhuskers change into an entirely different team. For someone that might have grown up thinking about Nebraska one way, you have to wonder what he thinks of them now.
Has THE Nebraska changed so much that even a local product doesn't recognize them?
"The losing season, that's something I have never seen, of course," Ryan said. "But, they have been winning for so long, it has to happen to everyone at some point. They are doing a lot of different things now and it's probably hard for people to adjust because they aren't winning a lot of games. But, I am sure they will get back on the right track."
Ryan will head down to San Antonio late next week and the combine will start on the 15th and wrap up the day after. Typical to his laid-back demeanor, Ryan doesn't even get a bit nervous as the days grow closer to where he faces off with some of the other top junior from around the country. He's just there to do his thing.
"It's not like this is me versus you," he said. "I just want to see how I do and yeah, I will look a little at how it compares to other people, but I'm just trying to get a better idea of where I am at right now."
"It should be a lot of fun."