Throughout his entire recruiting process, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian offensive lineman Nicolo DiFronzo wasn’t just looking for a college where he can push defensive linemen around, but an institution where he could pursue a career in aerospace engineering.
He realized that the Air Force Academy was the ideal place where both of his dreams can take flight, as he verbally accepted the Falcons' scholarship offer on Aug. 5.
The 6-foot-3, 275-pound prospect – who is projected to move from tackle to guard at the next level - emerged as the 12th commitment for the Falcons’ 2017 recruiting cycle.
“Academically, I couldn't ask for a better school than Air Force, especially for the aerospace engineering degree that I want,” DiFronzo told Scout.
Air Force was actually DiFronzo’s first scholarship offer, which arrived in his mailbox on April 20. He wound up collecting four more offers including Army and Cal Poly.
What sealed the deal for DiFronzo was his trip to the Colorado Springs campus during the weekend of July 12, where he took part in the Falcons summer camp and spent time socializing with the coaching staff.
“My visit did help with my decision since the academy put me in awe of its size and facilities,” DiFronzo said. “The coaches at Air Force were really good to me and coach [Troy] Calhoun would call me just to catch up sometimes.”
The primary closing sale for DiFronzo was the academy’s reputation for selflessness.
“The major thing that sold me was that at the Air Force Academy, you are a part of something bigger than yourself,” DiFronzo said.
When he puts on the Lions uniform, DiFronzo isn’t really asked to do a whole lot for the Oaks Christian front line. All he does is protect 2018 USC quarterback commit Matt Corral’s blind side and shove defensive linemen into the ground on dive and blast running plays. DiFronzo said the linemen at Oaks are rarely asked to pull on rushing plays.
Air Force, though, is known in the college football landscape for being creative with its ground attack, as the Falcons traditionally employ the triple option scheme with some of the plays getting called out of an I-Formation or from the shotgun. DiFronzo said he likes what the Falcons pull out on offense.
“I love the triple option because you get pound the ball while most schools today choose to go spread and throw,” DiFronzo said.
With his commitment now out the way, DiFronzo can officially shift his focus to the upcoming 2016-17 season and the high expectations that echo inside Blosser Field at Thorson Stadium, as the Lions will look to build from their 11-1 season from last year.
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“It feels amazing not to worry about where I am going to be going next year and just focus on the game I love for my senior season,” DiFronzo said.