"I think it's a big sign," Cioffi said. "Big things are coming for Rutgers, big moments, and I can't wait to be a part of it."
Cioffi rode a hot streak of victories into his Saturday race, but got the final piece of momentum just seconds before the race started.
"When they were announcing our names of the finalists, who was in which lane, they said my name really quick like it was nothing and then they said Averett and they blew it up," Cioffi said. "It was kind of a motivator. I was just like, ‘OK I can't let someone else win this. I got this.'" Averrett, however, will get another shot at Cioffi Thursday in the Meet of Champions with both qualifying in the 100-meter dash.
The Dayton (Springfield, N.J.) student has had an enjoyable end to his junior year of high school. After receiving a verbal scholarship offer and committing on the spot to head coach Kyle Flood in February, Cioffi took his basketball team far into the state playoffs and can now call himself a track state champion.
"This is something that I've always wanted to do in football first, but to do it in track, in a sport I wasn't projected to do it in, is a happy feeling for me," Cioffi said. "It's just good that I'm accomplishing this stuff. I'm proving to myself that I can do it."
Away from personal accomplishments, Ciofi has slowly seen the Rutgers Class of 2013 grow. The class is now up to four verbal commitments and Cioffi is working to make it more.
Cioffi added that he is also becoming friends with St. John Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.) wide receiver Ishmael Hyman. Both plan to visit campus this weekend.