Team 24/7 Lacrosse Player Spotlight
2020 Nick Rizzo
Learn more about some of the top High School lacrosse players in the Carolinas this Spring with the Team 24/7 Lacrosse Committed Player Spotlight
Getting to Know Nick Rizzo
Player Name: Nick Rizzo
College Commitment: High Point University
High School: Hough
Position: Attack/Midfield
Graduating Class: 2020

What other schools did you consider?
Robert Morris, Salisbury, University of Richmond and Utah.
How did the school you chose separate itself from the others you considered?
The school itself is beautiful. I also connected with the philosophy at HPU; developing life skills, building character,  fostering values and practical experiential learning. HPU has a 97% placement rate at graduation which was impressive and really important to me. 

On the lacrosse side, I liked Coach Torpey immediately. He talked to me about buying-in and creating something special. I have always been a hard worker so I knew that becoming a Panther would be a good fit for me. Coach Torpey stresses that we are a brotherhood and all the other recruits, current players and staff have welcomed me in.

How would you describe your recruiting process overall?
My recruiting process was a long and difficult journey that could not have been done without the help of Ryan and the other 24/7 coaches. They helped me develop my athleticism and lacrosse IQ to make me a overall better player then spoke with coaches for me when the time came. After a long time without any notice from High Point, Ryan suggested I give it one more try by attending a prospect day before I give up and that is what lead to my offer.

What was your favorite part of the recruiting process? 
My favorite part of the recruiting process was getting the call from Coach Torpey. It was something I really wanted and worked hard to accomplish. Signing day was another fantastic part of being a lacrosse recruit. I had watched so many athletes I idolized commit to their colleges; always thinking that was going to be me one day. It was pretty surreal to have my dream come true. 

What opportunities and information assisted you during your recruiting process?
Ryan was always available to answer any questions I had and reached out to the coaches before prospect days and campus visits to help put me in a position to be successful. I also think he was really great at telling us what recruiting opportunities were beneficial and which ones were more of a money grab. He kept his faith in me but also was very realistic where he thought I belonged and that helped me focus my efforts on researching the right programs at the right schools. 

Did you feel like you had support from the Team 24/7 Staff during your process? If so, how?
All of the coaches were so awesome during my time at 24/7. While they were hard on me, they had an end goal in sight for me. Ryan and the staff always pushed me to the limit. I could text or call any of the 24/7 staff and they would respond with advice as soon as they could.

Another thing the 24/7 coaches do well is creating relationships. It takes the pressure off getting looks or winning the games if you are out on the field enjoying your coaches and playing with your friends.

What individual or showcase events, if any, did you find the most beneficial during your process?
I decided to focus on attending the schools I wanted to go to directly instead of going to showcases. Prospect days were perfect for me because I got to showcase my skills in front of the entire coaching staff in a smaller environment.

What would you tell younger players or parents to help them prepare for the recruiting process?
You will find the right place, it might be D1, D2, D3 or Club. There is always somewhere to play. For any younger athlete playing lacrosse, my advice to you is just have fun. Lacrosse came so easy to me when I was having fun with my friends. For the recruiting process, I would put your trust in Ryan. He knows what he is doing and will guide you to the correct place.
Coach Flanagan on Nick
It has been incredible to see how much Nick has grown and matured over the years since we began coaching him. When he first tried out for one of our teams in middle school, we put him on a "B" team and he never said a word about it. He just kept working to improve and not only made the "A" team the next year but quickly became one of our better players.
The first thing that comes to mind with Nick is how much he loves the game and you can see it whenever he plays. He is one of those guys that looks like he is having fun anytime he is on the field. He isn't the biggest or strongest guy but he makes a ton of plays because he has great stick skills and flies around the field at 100 miles per hour. The Summer lacrosse season can be a little bit of a grind, specifically for guys that are going through the recruiting process. You are coming off a long high school season and you are playing a TON of lacrosse in the heat in June and July. Throw in the travel on top of that and guys can get pretty tired. Nick always kept the environment loose and fun. He was so happy just to be playing lacrosse and it rubbed off on everyone around him.

His recruiting process was a bit of a rollercoaster, as most are. He drew a little bit of interest after the Summer but the Fall recruiting period was really big for him. As a smaller guy, he wasn't going to stand out physically at events or showcases so had to be really smart with how he approached the process. It was really important that Nick was proactive in reaching out to coaches and expressing interest so that coaches knew to look specifically for him. He did a great job of that throughout the Summer and Fall.

Coming out of the Fall, Nick had an offer from a school and was ready to commit. High Point was at the top of his list but had not expressed much interest at the time so he was moving forward with another opportunity. HPU had a prospect day coming up so he decided to give it one last shot. If they didn't express interest coming out of the prospect day, he would have been happy going to the other school. If they did, hopefully it would lead to an offer. Coach Torpey sent me a text during the event about how great Nick was playing and a week later, he had an offer and committed to HPU.

Needless to say, I'm glad it worked out the way it did because I can't wait to see him at the next level and now he'll be just an hour and a half outside of Charlotte!
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