Last year, Ryan Fisicaro took the Nebraska state track championships by storm with a 10.747 in the 100 meter dash as a sophomore that earned him the title of fastest prep in the Cornhusker State. That summer, he camped at Nebraska and was hand-timed with a 4.33 40, the fastest man in a camp loaded with athletes a year older than him.
This year, the Omaha (Neb.) Creighton Prep junior will likely break the 10.61 mark in the 100m that Ahman Green ran as a senior at Omaha Central in 1995, and Fisicaro is gunning for the state record of 10.52 that dates back to 1982.
"I don't want to just defend my [100m] title," he says. "I want to break the state record and get down to the 10.4's this year. And I'd like to do a little better in the 200m. My personal best is a 22.44, but I think I should be able to place or win at state this year."
With that kind of speed in a 6'2" 210-pound body, Fisicaro is capable of doing some special things on the football field. His 2004 season at Creighton Prep was limited, however, by an ankle sprain that took away some of his explosiveness as well as his carries. He finished the year playing in nine games and carrying the ball 109 times for 721 yards with seven touchdowns.
"When I was the starter, I was always the lead guy. But after my injury, I had to be rotated," he explains. "When I'm healthy, speed is my best attribute as a running back. I can break a touchdown on any play."
Click here to see for yourself what Fisicaro did during his junior year running the ball, with more than four minutes of ScoutTV highlight video.
Anxious to improve himself as a football player, the Omaha athlete is hitting the weight room harder than you might expect for a sprinter. The winter and spring is a time when track athletes typically get lighter and faster, but Fisicaro is focused more on improving his strength - the scales be damned.
"All I care about is lifting weights and getting stronger and faster," he maintains. "If I gain weight, I gain weight. "If I lose some weight, I lose some weight."
The downside to the track season for a prospective student-athlete like Fisicaro is the demands on his schedule this time of year, when other football recruits are able to attend a host of combines. He is hopeful that he can squeeze in an appearance at the Kansas State Nike Combine in May, but that is an open question at this point. Fisicaro instead will try to hit camps in the summer at his top schools, to showcase his physical abilities to college coaches.
Fisicaro also had the benefit of attending Junior Days earlier this winter at Iowa and Iowa State. Here is what he had to say about each:
Iowa - "It was nice to be able to look at all their facilities. It was nice. They care about academics as well as football. They say I am one of their top 25 prospects."
Iowa State - "I liked it a lot there - we got a little more personal with the coaches and players. It was nice to get to know the people personally. I also got to see their facilities, which were good."
Stanford may be a much more distant suitor, but Fisicaro carries a 4.0 weighted GPA (3.8 unweighted) with honors/AP classes and is excited about the fit he could find out on The Farm.
"What attracts you first to Stanford is the school itself. They have great academics and a promising future for their football program. Plus, the Pac-10 is a pretty good conference," he declares. "I'm not too aware of Stanford's style of offense, but the style of football is a low priority for me when I'm looking at a school. What matters to me is the relationships with the coaches, the academics of the school and the atmosphere on campus."
"Distance will not be a factor at all," Fisicaro adds. "My mom might be a little sad if I go away from home, but that won't stop me from going where I find the best fit."
The Creighton Prep junior says that four schools have shown the most interest in him thus far, so he reciprocates by naming them his early favorites: Iowa, Iowa State, Notre Dame and Stanford. One school curiously absent from that list is the in-state Huskers.
"I'm interested in Nebraska just because they have had a good program through the years, but I don't know how much of a priority I am for them. They just signed three really good running backs last year. I've gotten a few letters here and there from them," he comments. "Kansas and Nebraska have sent a few letters are those are both schools I would like to hear more from. Kansas State has been sending quite a few handwritten letters lately, so I'm also interested in them."
Fisicaro has played exclusively running back in high school thus far, but he will add some defensive work to his repertoire his senior year. Schools have their eyes on him foremost as a running back, but Fisicaro says that some have discussed him possibly playing linebacker or safety. That would undoubtedly be an area for exploration at college camps this summer.
Ryan Fisicaro is an exciting athlete in this 2006 class because of his speed and size, and though his football exposure may be limited the next couple months with his track season, he will remain a top prospect to watch this year. We will keep in touch with the Nebraska burner and bring you his latest as his story evolves.
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