Commitment analysis: Nicco Fertitta

Player analysis, quotes, recruiting recap and big picture implications for Notre Dame recruiting are broken down below in this commitment analysis of future Irish safety three-star Nicco Fertitta hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Profile: Nicco Fertitta

Position: Safety

Location: Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 180

Rank: Three-star, No. 33 ranked safety

Player analysis

Fertitta is a tough, physical safety who plays bigger than his size. He's a very good cover safety who can man up on a third receiver and is strong in run support. He's a very instinctual player who's always around the football, is a solid tackler and has under-rated athleticism.

Whether Feritta, who will start out at strong safety at Notre Dame, makes his way into Notre Dame's consistent rotation at corner is not a bet I'd wager, but he'll undoubtedly contribute at special teams.

At under 6'0", Fertitta most likely benefited from the coaching change at defensive coordinator, as former coach Bob Diaco emphasized size and height, both of which Fertitta lacks.

Feritta had over 70 tackles and three interceptions his junior year.

***Note: Look for a more in-depth film review in an upcoming post.

Recruiting recap

Fertitta picked up his first offer from Hawaii last spring, and Utah followed shortly thereafter. Boston College, Indiana and Utah were next to fall in line.

Notre Dame was offer No. 6 for Feritta. The Irish offered in January after Irish assistant Mike Denbrock visited Feritta at Bishop Gorman.

Fertitta would also pick up offers from Arizona, Houston, San Diego State and UNLV.

Fertitta took his third visit to Notre Dame this April, and he committed while he was on campus. Feritta visited Notre Dame last summer as well as during the season.


"Notre Dame offered me this morning. Coach Denbrock came to our school and when he told me I had a scholarship offer, I was basically in shock. I had been in contact with Coach Alford previously and Notre Dame was showing interest but I never expected to get an offer this early."- Fertitta

"I talk to Alize Jones a lot about recruiting and Anu (Solomon), my brother, Ronnie (Stanley) and Shaq (Powell). It's like a family. They all help us out and try to find us a place. We all want each other to have success." - Fertitta

"When I walked in to the locker room, I looked at my dad and Coach Sanchez (Gorman head coach) and we could feel the tradition and history there. We walked out of the tunnel and when I hit the ‘play like a champion' sign on my way to the field, I knew this was the place for me." - Fertitta

"They want to start me out at strong safety and that definitely works for me. I'm 100% committed to Notre Dame, that's the place for me and I couldn't be happier about it. I love the fit football wise and academically and I can't wait to get there." - Fertitta

What this means for Notre Dame

With the commitment of Fertitta, Notre Dame is most likely done at the safety position in 2015. The Irish also gained a commitment from three-star safety Prentice McKinney this spring. The Irish will most likely take two cornerbacks in this cycle in order to complete their defensive back recruiting in 2015.

When you look at Feritta's offer list, Notre Dame obviously stands out. Feritta's father Lorenzo Feritta (of Sicilian descent), who's net worth is estimated to be well over one billion dollars. Fertitta Sr. is the CEO of the UFC as well a casino executive and entrepreneur who owns Fertitta Enterprises.

Bishop Gorman is a school that Notre Dame likes to recruit. Irish lineman Ronnie Stanley hails from Bishop Gorman, and Notre Dame most recently recruited running back Nathan Starks in 2014 and 2015 tight end and UCLA commit Alize Jones. This commitment only strengthens that connection.

Like it's mentioned above, Feritta's competing against the odds in order to be a standout player at Notre Dame. But, he possesses the intangibles and natural feel for the game (not to mention the connections) that Notre Dame finds appealing.

Notre Dame's safety depth in 2014

5th year - Austin Collinsworth (projected starter)

Seniors - Eilar Hardy

Juniors - Nicky Baratti, Elijah Shumate

Sophomores - Max Redfield (projected starter), James Onwualu

Freshman - LB/SS Drue Tranquill Top Stories