Making The Rounds

Lancaster High School's Tom Nardo has already put many miles on the family car as he checks out potential college destinations, but he's just getting started in his effort to learn as much as he can about the schools he is interested in.

"I've been to West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut and Boston College this spring," said Nardo, who has laid out a methodical plan to gather information about his schools of interest. "I want to go to as many camps as possible this summer. I want to get out to all the schools I've already been to plus some of the ones in the Midwest that I am interested in too."

The latter list includes schools such as Iowa, Northwestern and Vanderbilt, which will certainly make for a busy summer for the two-way line prospect, who is being recruited as a defensive tackle by some and an offensive lineman by others. He does not have offers yet, but has firm interest from all three Big East schools on his list.

"Connecticut might be the closest to offering – they've talked to me some about it," said Nardo, who plans to major in business in college. "West Virginia has told me they want to see me play some during my senior season, and Pitt wants me at their camp."

Nardo said he enjoyed his first visit to West Virginia, where he took in the Mountaineers' spring game.

"It was good," the low-key rising senior said. "It was a nice visit, and they are going to have a good team this year."

That factor will play a "little part" in Nardo's decision, who admits it would be nice to go to a good program that has the chance to win. However, it's just one part of the decision matrix he'll use when he finally begins to narrow down his choices. Academics, and the presence of a good business school, will also play a role, but that's not something that will likely limit his picks.

"A lot of colleges have good business schools, so that helps," said Nardo.

A three-year starter at both offensive and defensive tackle, Nardo racked up 81 stops and four sacks as a junior defender. He is open to schools no matter where they are recruiting him, but admits a preference for defense.

"I like defense but will play wherever they want me to," said the Pennsylvania native. "I think I'm a little better on defense. I was named outstanding lineman in Section III last year, and was also picked as the outstanding offensive lineman and defensive lineman. I was voted first team all-Section III and had all-state honors too."

With that impressive resume, Nardo has also set some goals for the coming season. On the team side, he hopes to make a return trip to the state playoffs, where Lancaster lost in the semi-finals a year ago. And as for his individual goals, he has the usual lineman's goal of getting faster and bigger, and along the way, gathering scholarship offers. That process could begin soon as Nardo makes the rounds of summer camps, and during that time, he also hopes to pick up more knowledge on line play.

"When I was a freshman, I learned a lot at the camps," said Nardo. "Last year I only went to Pitt's camp, and that was more showing what I could do [for the coaches]. This year, by going to a lot of different places that run a different variety of offenses and defenses, I think I can learn a lot. I can see a lot of different techniques, and I should be able to learn different things."


Nardo has not set a timetable for his decision, and is being patient as the recruiting process gets underway.

"It would be nice to do it early in the season, but I will probably wait and see how things are going to play out," he noted.

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