Nico Ragaini accomplished a lot at West Haven (CT) Notre Dame High. He stood out as one of the state’s top football and lacrosse players as a senior in 2016-17. It gained him attention from some colleges. He wanted more.
He decided that a post-graduate year at Avon (CT) Old Farms School was his best path. He showed up there this fall and delivered on the football field.
The move paid off. Iowa offered him the talented receiver a scholarship Sunday night, he accepted it and will enroll at the Big Ten school on Thursday.
“I wanted to play for Iowa since I visited this past summer,” Ragaini told HN. “I love their blue-collar mentality and feel like I fit in with that concept.”
The 6-foot, 185-pound senior from Avon Old Farms High also reported a scholarship offer from Boston College. In addition, he was considering Yale.
Iowa assistant Ken O’Keefe watched Ragaini work out at Notre Dame last spring and invited him to camp with the Hawkeyes. He did so in June.
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“The campus was awesome. I can’t wait to get back to campus and get working,” Ragaini said. “Coach O’Keefe thinks I can play on all special teams and compete for a spot at slot this year. I’ll do whatever the coaches want me to do and work as hard as possible every day.”
Ragaini considered committing to Boston College or Yale earlier but held out for the Hawkeyes.
“Coach O’Keefe was keeping in contact with me and Iowa was where I really wanted to be,” he said.
Ragaini could have chosen lacrosse as his college sport. In the end, football won out.
While at Notre Dame High, Ragaini set a state record for career receptions (222) and school records for lacrosse assists (109) and points (180) in a career. As a football senior there, he caught 59 passes for 988 yards (1,591 all-purpose yards) and six touchdowns, while adding 41 tackles and two interceptions as a safety.
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Here’s look at Ragaini’s senior highlights: