CoachSpeak: Scouting Nick Internicola

University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) defensive end Nick Internicola started the fireworks early in Piscataway with a late-night verbal commitment to Rutgers. Before the sun goes down on Independence Day, is here with the scouting report on Internicola from his head coach, Roger Hariot.

University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) defensive end Nick Internicola brings the cerebral edge to defense that can put a player or team over the edge. From a mental standpoint, Internicola is one of the best out there, said his high-school coach Roger Hariot.

Combine that with Internicola's heart and athleticism and Rutgers has a dynamic defensive player, he said.

"They're getting a very explosive, intelligent football player," Hariot said. "He's an individual that loves the game and has a motor. He epitomizes what the game is all about because he expresses a lot of passion and enthusiasm on the field. Off the field, he has an exceptional work ethic and attitude. He's going to be a person down the road that will do some good things, great things on and off the field for Rutgers University."

Internicola plays middle linebacker for University School, but camped as a defensive end last week at Rutgers.

Known as "Panagos Junior" after his visit based on his similarities with line coach Jim Panagos, the transition to the "R" position is expected to go smoothly, Hariot said.

"He has a lot of room to grow," Hariot said. "He's a big kid and he's an exceptional athlete. Whether he plays defensive line, linebacker or on offense, he's going to play to the best of his ability. I can definitely see Nick doing whatever is expected of him from the coaches within the weight room and from a development standpoint with regards to learning the game."

Internicola is green from a scheme and technique standpoint at the position, but he learns quickly.

"He's an extremely smart player," Hariot said. "Nick actually has a very high football IQ. He started his career off as a quarterback. When you have a kid like that who has that intelligence, you have yourself a leader and you have a kid with a strong understanding of the game. For that type of individual to play on defense, he's going to be able to see the whole field and get a pretty good feel of what opposing offenses are trying to do."

Internicola is teammates and friends with three-star outside linebacker Skai Moore, who remains a top Rutgers target heading into training camp.

Moore wants to take three official visits in September, but his decision may not take that long to make, his coach said.

"[Nick] and Skai are very close and I know Skai is very impressed with his time there,"Hariot said. "With Nick's commitment there, I'm sure it will definitely influence that. Skai has to sit down like Nick did and make an educated decision with his family sometime soon."

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