'06 Unwrapped: Nick Macaluso

As Stanford seeks to restock their 3-4 defense, the Cardinal look for linebackers. Gone are four standout fifth-year seniors to graduation, and another pair will play their final season this fall. Walt Harris has landed one linebacker in this class and has just one other outstanding offer. New Jersey standout Nick Macaluso comes to campus this weekend as the final piece of the puzzle.

Winning breeds winning.  That is one reason schools are gunning for New Jersey linebacker Nick Macaluso.  The 6'3" 225-pound senior has never lost a varsity football game, spanning a 36-0 career and three straight state championships at Middletown (N.J.) South High School.  Macaluso was the leader of an Eagles' defense that pitched five shutouts in 2005, including two in the state playoffs.  Opposing teams only scored six points per game.

Maculuso each of the last two years was named First Team All-State in New Jersey as well as the county's Defensive Player of the Year.  As a senior he recorded 14 sacks and 85 solo tackles.

With an older brother playing at Cornell and the grades and interest to play in the Ivy League himself, you might make a judgment about the type of college football player Macaluso will be.  That would be a mistake.

"Of course he's very intelligent.  He's an intelligent football player," says Eagles head coach Steve Antonucci.  "But he's very athletic - long and lean.  Nick runs really well side to side.  Stanford is recruiting him as a 'Will' linebacker."

Macaluso reminds us in several ways of Stanford rising fifth-year senior inside linebacker Mike Silva - both highly productive players who might be judged by their academic abilities and the color of their skin, and subsequently underrated for their athleticism.

Another similarity can be found in their recruitments.  Though much has been written about Duke and Rutgers for Macaluso, he has another pair of offers who sit atop his list.

"Stanford and Northwestern are his top two.  It will come down to them," Antonucci reports.  He says that his star senior linebacker has been offered by both the Cardinal and the Wildcats.  Macaluso was also just recently admitted through the application process at Stanford, which takes the strings off his scholarship offer from Walt Harris.

Nick Macaluso, a three-star recruit ranked by Scout.com as the #84 linebacker in America and the #14 overall prospect in New Jersey, has already taken official visits to Rutgers (12/16), Northwestern (1/6) and Duke (1/3).  Antonucci says that the New Jersey standout is flying to Stanford tomorrow for his fourth official visit with both his parents.  It will be his first trip to The Farm and will likely precede his final decision on his college future.  We will check in with Macaluso next week for a report on his trip and any information on his impending commitment decision.  Stay tuned.

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