Nolan Rucci is actually good along with his arms.
Whether or not he’s heading off an oncoming would-be tackler, pass-protecting for his quarterback or elbows deep making an attempt to place collectively a pc, he’s actually good at utilizing his digits.
You in all probability know Rucci for his soccer exploits. Warwick’s excellent senior offensive sort out has pocketed just about each all-star award on the board, and he’s the top-ranked prep offensive lineman within the nation in his class.
However right here is one thing you in all probability don’t know in regards to the Warriors’ 6-foot-8, 300-pound individuals mover: When he dedicated to Wisconsin earlier this month, Rucci not solely gave his verbal pledge to play soccer for the Badgers, however he dedicated to Wisconsin’s aerospace engineering program.
Seems Rucci not solely dominates within the trenches and alongside the road of scrimmage on a soccer discipline. He’s a sensible cookie, too, with a 4.2 GPA and a thirst to get inside the heart of devices and see how issues work.
It began a few years in the past, when he constructed his personal pc.
“I’ve all the time been curious about computer systems and I’m all the time gaming with my buddies,” Rucci mentioned. “So I began watching tutorials on-line about find out how to construct my very own pc. I bought a bunch of items and I put all of them collectively. It was a reasonably cool factor to do, and I felt like I discovered lots doing it. It was enjoyable.”
Rucci was hooked. In reality, he nonetheless makes use of the pc he constructed, and he’s modified and improved it over time.
Whereas imposing his will on the soccer discipline on Friday nights, and incomes scholarship gives from virtually each main Division I program within the nation, Rucci additionally turned tech savvy and grew an increasing number of curious about engineering.
“I’m all the time watching ‘How It’s Made’ on the Science Channel,” he mentioned. “I really like aerospace engineering, and I really like soccer much more.”
At Wisconsin, he’ll get to do each; Rucci will be part of the Badgers’ jaw-dropping record of top-notch offensive linemen, and he’ll main in aerospace engineering in Madison. He’ll examine such matters as the event of plane and spacecraft, avionics and electronics. And extra.
Rucci is far more than a soccer jock.
“I’ve all the time been fairly good at math and science,” he mentioned. “I’ve all the time made college and finding out a high precedence. When my recruiting went up, my grades didn’t drop.”
Therefore that shiny 4.2 GPA heading into his senior yr.
Rucci bought the pc and gadget itch in center college, when one other former Warwick athlete, Jason Griffiths, was again residence in Lititz and shared his story with Rucci’s household. Griffiths, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute grad, is working for NASA on the Orion Spacecraft Challenge.
When Rucci heard about Griffiths’ exploits, his ears instantly perked up.
“I believed it was actually cool that you might play sports activities, and likewise be curious about engineering,” Rucci mentioned. “I talked to all the colleges about that in the course of the recruiting course of. I wished to review aerospace engineering and play Division I soccer on the identical time. I’ve all the time been intrigued by that.”
He’ll get his want at Wisconsin.
So is there a correlation between aerospace engineering, making computer systems, fixing devices and taking part in offensive sort out?
“Sure,” Rucci mentioned. “For me, it’s the finding out facet of it. I by no means would have discovered find out how to construct a pc if I wasn’t finding out movies and educating myself find out how to do it. Trial and error. Issues like that. It undoubtedly interprets over to soccer, like finding out movie and studying strategies and practising your abilities and fine-tuning every little thing.”
Rucci has had a number of mates ask him to construct them a pc, and he’s fast to assist when somebody’s gadget wants tweaked. His mother, Stacy, makes use of a drone to movie Warwick’s video games and practices, and she or he’s all the time in his ear.
“I’m her IT man,” Rucci mentioned, chuckling. “She’s all the time asking me questions on it, and I’ve needed to repair it a number of occasions after it crashed. However I like it.”
Rucci’s love for soccer and aerospace engineering merely oozes out of him. Be it within the classroom or within the trenches on a soccer discipline making a bone-crushing block, he’s all the time giving it his all. The professors and coaches at Wisconsin are fortunate to have his dedication. And the nice individuals at Warwick who bought to observe him develop up and do superb issues on and off the sector will always remember him.