January 12, 2009

Rainieri says he is firm on CSU

While Colorado State lost a recruit from Orlando's Dr. Phillips High School this weekend, another Rams' commit said he is still firmly in CSU's boat. Dr. Phillips quarterback Nico Rainieri committed to CSU in early December and says he is staying firm with that commitment, even with high school teammate Victor Gray in his ear after committing to Central Florida this weekend.

"Same as always," Rainieri said. "I had my official (visit) this weekend to UCF and they offered a full scholarship. BC said they might offer in the next couple days here. That is all that is really going on. I still have a solid verbal to Colorado State. Nothing has changed there. I'm still happy with my decision."

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 played in Florida's State All-Star game where he was the quarterback of the victorious North squad. Rainieri went 4-for-4 with 137 yards and a touchdown.

"They had really good running backs and linemen so we ran the ball most of the game," Rainieri said.

Rainieri also spoke of the week at the All-Star game and said it was a great diversion for he and his fellow recruits from the rigors of the recruiting trail.

"We talk about what schools we are going to when we first get there, but then I wouldn't say we are talking recruiting at all," he said. "We are there to have a good time and play football and try to win the All-Star game. It is also a good get-away and have fun. It was a fun game playing with the best players in the state and just really enjoying ourselves. In the hotel we are playing ping-pong, pool and NCAA. We went bowling one night. It was a lot of fun."

Rainieri was in Orlando to see Central Florida with teammate Victor Gray and enjoyed himself, while saying he is still staying strong with the Rams. While he was hoping to play football in college with his high school friend, he was pleased that he friend found a place that made him happy

"The facilities (at UCF) are really nice. There were good coaches and it is home," Rainieri said when asked what attracted Gray to UCF. "We both were able to fit in easily. We knew the area and even though it is only 30 minutes from where we live, he will have enough freedom. He doesn't have to come home, he will have his own place there and if he does want to come home, he can.

"Vic has been moving around quite a bit in his life and he said it would be nice to hang around here for a while, rather than have to get out and make any changes or moves in his life," Rainieri said.

Rainieri said he fully expected Gray to he in his ear about playing at Central Florida in the future, but told CSU fans not to worry to much about his commitment.

"I still have my strong verbal at Colorado State," he said. "He (Gray) already told me he is going to be in my ear about UCF. I'm ready for it. As a matter of fact he was calling in earlier tonight."

Rainieri said he also got a visit last week from the CSU coaching staff and said it is almost a relief to be talking to a coaching staff that he has already committed to.

"It was nice, because it doesn't have that feel like you have to walk in, stand up straight and impress him," Rainieri said. "You can say 'hey,' be yourself. It is much more enjoyable because he is your coach."

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