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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #28 Nicco Fertitta

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The undersized safety who packs a punch, it’s Nicco Fertitta.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about all of them. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2018 season.

#28 Nicco Fertitta

Nicco Fertitta was recruited out of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV) with the Class of 2015. He wasn’t an overly heralded recruit, and the Irish were without major competition in his recruiting battle. His size held him back in that regard. That said, he played much larger than his size and had the “I’m going to take your head off” attitude that the Fighting Irish are notoriously low on.

He hasn’t made a massive impact since joining the the program a few years ago. He’s been a reliable special teams piece and a role player in the backend of the defense, but he hasn’t been heavily in the competition to be a starter and isn’t this year. However, Fertitta is far from without value and the staff is without a doubt glad to have him back for another season.

3 Things To Know About Nicco Fertitta

  1. Nicco Fertitta’s father, Lorenzo Fertitta, is a former CEO of Ultimate Fighting Championship. He even appointed his childhood friend Dana White as the President of UFC.
  2. His high school - Bishop Gorman - has produced multiple eventual Notre Dame players (and draft picks). Notable recent players from Bishop Gorman include Ronnie Stanley and Alizé Mack.
  3. He helped Bishop Gorman give Reed a 70-28 shellacking, while recording three tackles and two pass breakups, despite having an injured hand. Tough kid.

YouTube Hot Fire

To highlight the “I’m going to take your head off” mentality I mentioned above:

Country, Condiment, or Canon

Identifying the player as either a country, condiment, or member of the Star Wars Canon.

Mad Dog 357 Hot Sauce.

That just sounds so cool. Nicco Fertitta is Mad Dog 357 personified. For those wondering, this hot sauce is named as such because it claims to hit 357,000 units on the Scoville Scale. In other words: this sauce is really, really, ridiculously hot. Just a small amount of Mad Dog 357 packs a helluva punch.

The same can be said for Nicco Fertitta. This kid will flat out demolish anyone in holding the ball despite his diminutive stature. Flooring his opponent is the name of the game for both Fertitta and Mad Dog 357.

2018 Forecast

Fertitta is a solid special teams piece and no slouch as a rotational player. However, as stated above, he has yet to truly look as if he is pushing for substantial playing time. His size and athleticism have held him back up to this point, even though he has the heart and the attitude you look for in the ideal football player.

That will probably remain the same. He is simply outclassed by many of his teammates athletically. His intangibles are fantastic, and he is great as a rotational piece. But it seems as if that is what he will continue to be. Again, his role on this team is valued, but don’t expect him to make a 180 and turn into the next Tyrann Mathieu.

And that’s alright, because the Irish coaching staff won’t ask that from him.