The recruiting trips are certainly for his benefit, but Warwick High School (Pa.) 4-star tight end Hayden Rucci (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) hopes his younger brother is learning from the experience as well.
Rucci has taken quite a few college visits over the past few months, and his brother Nolan Rucci (Class of 2021) has tagged along on most of those visits. For Hayden, having his younger brother has been a valuable advantage. They’ve given their opinions to each other and talked about what to look for and not look for in a school.
The elder Rucci might also not be too far out from a decision. He just wrapped up a few visits and has more planned that could lead to his pick. But what Hayden, No. 201 in the 2019 Rivals250, has looked for hasn’t changed too much throughout the process.
“I look at the scheme and how they use their tight ends,” he said. “I’m a good blocking tight end, a catching tight end. Some schools use a tall receiver. It works some places. Some use their tight end as an extra tackle. I want schools that use a more versatile guy who can block and be in the passing game, too. Then, I look at the coaches and building relationships and seeing who the schools have around them.”
Hayden now has 18 offers, most recently from Princeton, Temple, Army and Pittsburgh. But no matter the offer, he’s tried to also instill in his younger brother the importance of academics.
“I keep straight A’s,” Hayden said. “I got an A-minus and I wasn’t happy, but that seems like a minor thing. Grades are big with me and that’s part of my consideration in my choice for college. I want to see what I can do in football to get a great academic experience.”
The Rucci brothers were most recently at Virginia Tech for the Hokies’ junior day. Their Jan. 14 visit was their first since they stopped by earlier this fall. That visit came in October on their way home from attending the Florida State/Duke game in Durham. Hayden said he compared both of his Virginia Tech stops.
“I got to watch practice the first time and had a pretty thorough tour,” he said. “I learned a lot of the same things this time as when I was there before. They didn’t have practice this time. I got to spend more time with the tight...
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