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On the football field, Nico Ragaini has been described as a “flash of lightning.”
In the video above, the junior at Notre Dame-West Haven (CT) returns an interception 82 yards for a touchdown. A standout at wide receiver, Ragaini had eight catches for 162 yards in a 34-28 win over West Haven last fall.
But lacrosse is the sport the first-team, all-state football star will play at the college level.
He verbally committed early last month to the University at Albany, a decision first reported when it was made by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
A midfielder, the 5-11, 175-pound Ragaini uses his athleticism and speed on the lacrosse field as well.
“I am really excited about my commitment to Albany,” the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Ragaini said.
Also an outstanding student, he has a 3.5 grade-point average.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Nico on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
It was an extremely difficult decision for me. Many factors led me to choose the University of Albany.
The variety of academic majors played a major role in the process.
However, the driving force was the connection I felt with (Albany Head) Coach (Scott) Marr and the assistant coaches.
Also, I think I fit in perfectly to the Great Danes’ style of play in their transition game.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Loyola and Hofstra.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My physicality and my ability to stretch the field. I pride myself on working hard to be the best athlete on the field.
My speed, strength and being selfless are my best attributes.
How does playing football help you in lacrosse?
I play wide receiver and cornerback for my high school team. My work ethic from football helps with my endurance and carries over to the lacrosse field. Also, I try to be resilient and relentless at all times which makes me a physical player.
Were you also recruited for football, and what schools did you consider for football?
I have been playing football since I was in fourth grade and love the sport. However, my No. 1 goal is to play college lacrosse at the highest level.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse?
In sixth grade, I played baseball and lacrosse during the same season. That’s when I fell in love with the sport and gave up baseball.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play on the Connecticut Cardinals. Last summer I played in the Fab Frosh showcase.
Any final thoughts and people you want to thank for helping you reach this point?
I would like to thank my mother who convinced me to try lacrosse in sixth grade. I would also like to thank my Connecticut Cardinals coaches: John Raba (head coach of Wesleyan University) and Seth Jacoby (assistant coach of Wesleyan University).