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Defensive back Nicco Fertitta commits to the Irish

Apr 5, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT


Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts are heating up, with Brian Kelly and the Irish accepting the commitment of Nicco Fertitta this weekend. The Las Vegas native is the third commitment in the last week, extending the 2015 class to six.

Fertitta, a 5-foot-9 defensive back who has camped at Notre Dame, is a three-star prospect with a less than impressive offer list. He chose the Irish over Arizona, Boston College, Houston, UNLV and Utah. That said, he was an early target that Brian VanGorder identified early in his evaluations, and the fact that the Irish accepted his commitment tells you they believe in him as a player.

Fertitta was on campus this weekend, and the U.S. Army All-American joins Ronnie Stanley as another Bishop Gorman recruit, a powerhouse football program in Las Vegas that the Irish would very much like to make a recruiting pipeline.

Fertitta has been a presence on the camp scene this offseason, holding his own against national recruiting competition. While he’s physically undersized for what the Irish have traditionally looked for in the secondary, VanGorder has opened up the profile of players he’s looking for to incorporate athletes of all shapes and sizes.

Fertitta’s father Lorenzo has a connection to professional sports, serving as the CEO of the UFC. But any questions as to whether Fertitta was offered based on who his father is could be answered by his highlight reel. Fertitta looks like a safety or nickel back prospect for the Irish, and is a heavy hitter for an undersized defender.


  1. dickasman - Apr 5, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    This is good. Prolly never crack the starting line up but good for marketing and networking. I just hope he does GHB like his father.

  2. dickasman - Apr 5, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    From the looks of the video, the competition does not seem too “stiff” at all

  3. oldschoollyons - Apr 5, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    This is another of the recruits that VanGorder surprisingly wanted. VanGorder will be long gone from Notre Dame before these chickens come home to roost.

    ND will have fewer recruits in the 2015 class. Instead of being selective, though, ND seems to have thrown open the door; and lower-rated recruits are jumping to sign on.

  4. irishpuma - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    In a small class this is a very interesting pick up. He has been affiliated with ND for a few years and the Fertitta bros “connections” are well well known. To believe this was a BVG must have, would be a stretch in my opinion. On the other side the kid has heart and I believe he will be a hard worker so good luck to all.

  5. fnc111 - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    I think Subway has a deal going on right now for Fertitta’s.

  6. cornysouthall - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    The second coming of Treg Duerson

    • Keith Arnold - Apr 7, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Duerson was the son of a Board of Trustees member. Fertitta is a three-year starter on one of the best programs on the West Coast.

      I tend to think this staff deserves the benefit of the doubt.

  7. ndrocks2 - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:34 AM

    Small recruiting class I thought was a reference to the number of players, not the actual players themselves.

    It’s way too early to offer this guy regardless of who his father is and the potential influence he will have on other Gorman players.

  8. yaketyyacc - Apr 6, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    big things come in small packages, and I Van Gorder calls him friend, then he is fried of mine.

  9. ajw21 - Apr 6, 2014 at 6:41 AM

    If your freaking out cus he is a 3 star, two options, find a hobby or don’t worry about what rivals says, I know I know, a 3 star never gets drafted, oh wait…
    Go Irish!

  10. buckynd13 - Apr 6, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    Looks like a hitter, w decent speed, I hope he can jump to make up for the 6″ he will be giving up in the corner of the end zone.

  11. seanb20124 - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    Can he play, seems like a Bon Jovi type signing

  12. danirish - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Man, a 3-star! Come on, we need 5-star like Ishaq Williams.

    All kidding aside – looks like he isn’t afraid to hit someone. Perhaps he will be the new, awesome gunner on special teams? We do need help in the stopping the kickoff thing.

    Maybe the 2nd coming of Stan Smagala!

  13. oleolehey - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    So he uses Kinlaw’s scholly. All is not lost.

  14. Stethoscope Nunchucks - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    How many uni’s do these high schools have now? I saw at least three different helmets alone in the first two min of the video.

  15. 25kgold - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    In other news: Gunner Kiel was 17 of 22 passing for 300 yards in his spring game debut.

  16. irishdodger - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    While he should add muscle to increase his weight, it’s unlikely he’ll grow vertically. He seems built like Joey Getherall but is at least 2 tenths of a second slower so that will keep him out of the starting lineup iMO. He should be a ST stalwart who gets a lot of love on his Senior Day, but the cynic in me has to think his dad’s deep pockets may have been the deciding factor to offer. I’ve already noticed that ND fans who scoff at this cynicism are typically grads of ND. I know it hurts the ego….but it’s not that far fetched.

  17. shaunodame - Apr 6, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    You know who else was a lightly recruited small DB with suspect “speed” coming out of high school? Tyrann Mathieu. What a bust that guy turned out to be, am I right?

  18. fnc111 - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    Well then, with that being said, I hope Nicco is not a pothead like Tyrann Mathieu is/was.

  19. getsome99 - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    A long ways out, but I like this signing. We more players like this. Instinctive and aggressive who likes to hit. He has 2 full seasons to get some size and strength on him. The kid studies and models his game after Jack Tatum and he could be a beast on special teams as well.

  20. mtflsmitty - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:15 AM

    Congrats to the Irish Women BB team.

    It’s been pretty obvious all season, but the difference between ND and UConn and the rest of D1 basketball is sick. 20+ point wins in national semis for both teams is amazing. Tuesday night should be pretty amazing. First time two undefeated teams have ever faced off in a D1 championship in any sport.

    If you’re a fan of basketball, and love great passing and team play ND women are a lot of fun to watch.

  21. shaunodame - Apr 7, 2014 at 3:10 AM

    Give me a break FNC. I don’t care if Tyrann Mathieu smoked dime bags with Les Miles between halves. What does it matter to you what any player does in his or her free time? They’re not hurting anybody.

    Take off that moral compass of yours and step into the real world brother man

  22. cpfirish - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Hey everybody don’t forget Cody driggs will be playing with us this season! He was one of the fastest kids on Florida’s team! I am really excited about this season that’s for sure! We have one lock down corner and two exceptional safeties in redfield and driggs!

  23. ivydude81 - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    If this kids last name was Smith, ND doesn’t offer him. #Truth

    Seen this kid play few times he’s a solid HS player, but bishop gorman had several kids on the same team that would be better fit. He will never be a starter in the secondary at ND.

  24. papadec - Apr 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    I guess we’ll just have to see what his final year of HS ball looks like & what he does during his redshirt year @ ND. Size wise – he may grow taller in the next two years, I think I saw him listed @ 5′ 10″ somewhere else & he has two years (mentioned above) to work on bulk & speed.

    • ndrocks2 - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:19 AM

      Hopefully he’s a stud but you don’t bet on the come in early April, you take calculated risk like that inside of two weeks of NSD when the A list targets get away from you. In this kid’s particular case with his dad’s money he would make a great preferred walk on and then see where it goes.

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