Wisconsin football has gained a huge commitment from Nolan Rucci to its 2021 recruiting class.
Wisconsin football just hit a home run on the recruiting trail. 5-star offensive tackle Nolan Rucci announced on CBS Sports HQ that he was committing to Wisconsin. He will join his brother, Hayden Rucci, in Madison in the fall of 2021. With his commitment, Rucci will become Wisconsin football’s second-highest rated commit all-time, training just Josh Oglesby, from the class of 2007.
This is a huge win for Joe Rudolph and Paul Chryst. Adding Rucci will make the historic 2021 recruiting class even better. Rucci will be joining two 4-star offensive linemen in JP Benzschawel and Riley Mahlman, creating a star-studded offensive line group for the future. The 2021 class also includes three other 4-star recruits: linebacker TJ Bollers, safety Hunter Wohler, and tight end Jack Pugh.
With the addition of Rucci, the Badgers have jumped a spot to 16th in the country in the 247Sports composite team rankings. They are also third in the Big Ten, behind only Ohio State (2nd overall) and Michigan (10th overall).
What makes this commitment even more impressive for Wisconsin, is that Rucci is a Penn St. legacy prospect. His dad, Todd Rucci, played at Penn St. and eventually played in the NFL for the New England Patriots. Penn St. and Clemson were favorites for a long time, but Wisconsin hung around. I think the feeling was that Wisconsin only hung around because his brother plays for the Badgers, but I think Wisconsin was in contention the whole time.
It sounds like Hayden would tell him how great Wisconsin was, but wouldn’t pressure Nolan. Nolan. He also got to meet a lot of the current Wisconsin football players and grew some solid relationships with them. I think that was really the difference along with the fact that Wisconsin is known by most as O-Line U for a good reason, they get offensive lineman into the NFL.
So what kind of a player can we expect Rucci to be? 247Sports’ National Recruiting Analyst Brian Dohn projects Rucci to be a future first-round pick in the NFL Draft and compares him to San Francisco 49er, Mike McGlinchey.
Here is Dohn’s scouting report:
"“Great length and size to be cornerstone left tackle. Frame can hold 300-plus pounds easily. Father, Todd, played offensive line for eight seasons in NFL. Technically sound with body control. Fast hands and accurate with initial punch. Gets off quickly at snap on run plays. Engages and drives legs. Can sink hips and get low. Finishes blocks. Can cover edge with kick-step. Moves well laterally. Patient in pass pro. Has to bend at knees more. Upper and lower body strength improvement needed. Elite level player who can get on field as freshman. Potential first-round NFL draft pick.”"
Rucci is definitely a player to get excited about as a Badger fan, especially knowing he could contribute as a freshman. He will be the crown jewel of this already loaded 2021 recruiting class.