December 3, 2008

Rainieri ready to compete at CSU

What an official visit started, an in-home visit confirmed for Orlando quarterback Nico Rainieri Tuesday. The Sunshine State signalcaller committed to play football for the Colorado State Rams Tuesday night after an in-home visit from CSU head coach Steve Fairchild and offensive line coach Pat Meyer. Rainieri said it was the opportunity to compete for a starting job right away that interested him.

"For me personally my official visit sort of sealed the deal, but last night just hearing he Coach Fairchild say, no matter what grade you are in the best player is going to play sealed it," Rainier said. "I am going to go in ready to work and the best players are going to play. That sealed it for me. I wasn't going to make and decision until my parents met coaches. They met the coaches and said if this what you want to do, we support you 100 percent."

This season the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Rainieri completed 173 passes on 280 attempts for 2,496 yards and 26 touchdowns. He threw seven interceptions and averaged 208 yards passing per game. Dr. Phillips High had its season end this weekend with a 17-7 loss at the hands of Boone High School in the second round of the playoffs.

Rainieri has scholarship offers from Middle Tennessee State, Furman, Florida Atlantic and had been fielding calls from Boston College. He still plans on taking visits to each for the experience, but says he is solidly in Colorado State's camp.

"My parents want me to go on visits for the experience. I am 100 percent to Colorado State. There is no chance of me going anywhere else," Rainieri said. "It is definitely a big relief to finally have the recruiting part just over with and have my school."

The commitment didn't come during the in-home visit by Fairchild and Meyer, but after a conference by Rainieri with his family.

"I talked it over with my parents for 30 or 40 minutes and then gave them a call," Rainieri said. "Coach Fairchild said I made his night and Coach Meyer was excited too. They were all like, that's great, that's great. We are looking forward to having you."

In addition to the call to the coaches, Rainieri also sent a call to Rams cornerback and former basketball teammate Gerard (Momo) Thomas. Another potential Ram will also be hearing from Rainieri at length - Dr. Phillips High School defensive end Victor Gray, who holds a CSU scholarship offer.

"I become a big recruiter of Victor," Rainieri said. "I am going to talk to him every day - every chance I get. I am in his ear a lot and I am going to be, as well as some of our juniors that I know they like. I am going to be in their ear too."

Rainieri comes into Colorado State with a weighted GPA of 4.0 and an unweighted GPA of 3.1. He has a SAT score of 1130 and wants to major in business or finance.

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