Nolan Rucci is one of the nation's top offensive tackles. The 2021 Pennsylvania native is considering some major powerhouse programs ahead of his senior season.
Rucci is listed at 6-foot-8, 289 pounds. The big left tackle is a five-star recruit, ranked No. 12 nationally overall, No. 2 among offensive tackles, and the top recruit in Pennsylvania.
As a Keystone State star, and the son of two Penn State alumni, it is natural to assume that he'll lean towards the Nittany Lions. Right now, three of the four early crystal ball predictions have him playing for James Franklin. Don't pencil it in just yet, though. His father tells 247Sports that he wants his son to follow his own path.
"What we’re trying to convey to our kids is you need to find your spot where you feel that you fit in," Todd Rucci, a former Penn State and eight-year NFL lineman said. Nolan Rucci's older brother Hayden is a tight end at Wisconsin, another school involved in the recruitment. In the 247 interview, he discussed five major programs that have the Rucci family's attention moving forward.
Clemson, Michigan, and Notre Dame join Penn State and Wisconsin as major contenders. Per the write-up, Georgia, which just offered this week, and Tennessee are also still involved, but did not get discussed at length.
In a different situation, it sounds like Rucci may have planned for a decision sometime this summer. Of course, NCAA in-person recruiting is at a standstill for the time being. That may push things back into his senior season next fall.
“Things have changed drastically over the (the last week) and we haven't really talked about what it all means with Nolan’s process,” Mr. Rucci said. “I would assume that the window of visits would open up again prior to start of his senior season. I would expect there would be some allowances by NCAA to provide some adjustments to the dead periods. We are going to just take it one day at time for the moment until things settle down. In meantime we will take advantage of the weight room, film, footwork, and food. These are some unprecedented circumstances, and everyone involved is looking for direction. We will focus on what we can control and not waste an opportunity to get better.”
There will be plenty of other top recruits in a similar limbo for the next few weeks. We're going to have a very interesting 2021 recruiting cycle, given everything happening in the world right now.