Eventful spring for LB

Nick Nasti hopes to translate summer football camps into scholarship offers; he is receiving interest from Big Ten programs such as Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. After attending several spring combines, his profile may be on the rise.

Nick Nasti, a 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker prospect at Plano (Ill.) High School, has spent plenty of time on the road this spring, visiting colleges and attending an array of football camps and combines to improve his profile with recruiters.

"I was real busy this whole spring," Nasti said, in a telephone interview Monday night. "Actually, Wisconsin was my first visit. I went up there and watched a practice. They gave me a tour.

"After that I went to Northwestern and sat in on some of their meetings. I met the linebacker coach (Pat Fitzgerald)."

One day after making the trip to Evanston, Ill., Nasti made an unofficial visit to Illinois.

"They took me around, gave me a tour and I met (head coach) Ron Zook, watched a practice.

"And then about a week later I went up to Minnesota and met with their coach (Glen Mason) and linebacker coach (Mark Criner) and my recruiting coordinator (quarterbacks coach Tony Petersen) for my area."

After completing that campus swing, Nasti turned to camps and combines. He attended a Nike camp in Chicago, where he ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash. On May 5 he participated in the Nike Training Camp on Ohio State's campus in Columbus, Ohio.

On April 22 he attended the Scout.com Combine in Iowa City, where he posted a 4.93-second 40-yard dash, 4.69-second 20-yard shuttle, 7.44-second 3-cone drill, 27-inch vertical jump and a 9-0 broad jump.

May 13 Nasti took part in the Midwest High School Combine in Schaumburg, Ill., where he ran the 3-cone in 7.43, the shuttle in 4.25, recorded a 34-inch vertical jump, 19 bench-press reps at 185 pounds and an 8-5 ½ broad jump. His performance at that event earned him the opportunity to perform at the Midwest Elite Showcase in Schaumburg May 20. The top 125 participants in the three Midwest High School Combines—one in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin—received invitations to the elite event.

Nasti has yet to receive a scholarship offer, but the recruiting season is still young and several programs have asked him to attend their summer camp, with the possibility of earning a scholarship offer.

How much interest is Wisconsin showing him?

"A little bit," Nasti said. "I went up there and took a visit just to meet with my recruiting coach… He seemed real nice and stuff, but right now they're just stacked at linebacker… It's still a possible interest. I might go and camp up there for one day, but I'm not sure yet."

The Badgers have a dozen linebackers on their program depth, and only two will be seniors in 2006. Other Big Ten programs, however, are showing more interest currently.

In early May, Illinois secondary coach Curt Mallory, who recruits Nasti's area, visited Plano.

"He just basically said that they were looking for a middle linebacker for next year—in my class—and that I was already bigger than the guy that they have," Nasti said. "He just really wanted me to come down and go through their one-day camp so that I could work with their linebacker coach and see what I thought of him and stuff like that. He didn't offer but he seemed really interested."

Nasti expected Minnesota quarterbacks coach Tony Peterson, who has been recruiting him for the Gophers, to stop by today or tomorrow.

"They basically said the same thing," Nasti said, referring to previous conversations with the Gophers' staff. "They didn't offer me, but they said they really want to see me work out in front of them."

Nasti is also receiving interest from Wake Forest, Northwestern and Division I-AA Illinois State. The school that seems to be the most interested right now, though, is Northern Illinois. The Huskies offensive coordinator, John Bond, visited Plano last week.

"He said that they really wanted to have me come down, and possibly after the camp they would offer me… because they've seen me play, and I've gotten handwritten mail from them," Nasti said.

Nasti plans to attend camps at Illinois, Northern Illinois and Minnesota and he may also attend camps at Wake Forest and Wisconsin, among other potential destinations.

He did not claim any favorites, preferring to wait and see what offers he receives.

"I don't go to a huge school," he said. "I go to a real small school so… I know (college coaches) like what they see, but I don't know if they just are kind of shied away by the size of my school and stuff like that.

"That's why going to the combines is real important for me because I could show what I could do against some of these bigger-named kids."


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