Florida DE Nik Bonitto Talks RU
Nov 3, 2016
By: Zach Links- SOR Head Staff Writer
DE St.Thomas Aquinas' Nik Bonitto
The Scarlet Knights are in the mix for one of Florida's very best defensive ends. St. Thomas Aquinas' Nik Bonitto has more offers than he can count but he hasn't forgotten that Rutgers was one of his earliest ones.
With offers from just about every major program under the sun, Bonitto will have lots of thinking do to between now and National Signing Day 2018. He isn't ready to declare any favorites among his 20-plus offers, but he readily admits that he likes RU.
"Right now there are no top schools for me, I'm just trying to enjoy the process and see what everyone has to offer," the 6'4, 210 pound athlete told StateOfRutgers.com. "But, I will say that I love the weather [in New Jersey]. Rutgers also has beautiful facilities, and that's important to me. Not to mention the chance to play in the Big Ten, which is just huge."
Those of us in and around the Garden State probably prefer Florida's weather to New Jersey's, but Bonitto seems to prefer the cold weather. He's also not opposed to traveling away from home to go to college which bodes well for Rutgers as they compete with Miami, Florida, UCF, Florida State, and other schools in the area. The defensive end also counts Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan State, Missouri, N.C. State, Nebraska, Ohio State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin among his offers.
Although he is a defensive lineman, Bonitto tells StateOfRutgers.com that he has primarily spoken with assistant defensive backs coach Aaron Henry. As things pick up, it is expected that he will chat more with defensive line coach Shane Burnham.
As a sophomore, Bonitto still has plenty of time before he has to weed through his many opportunities and pare down his wide list of suitors. In the meantime, he says he has his eye on winning a state championship and letting his play speak for itself, without focusing too much on statistics. But, whether he's thinking about it or not, his stats have been reflective of his work. Last year, Bonitto tallied eight sacks and more than 60 tackles.
Even at his young age, Bonitto has confidence in spades and knows that he is an elite athlete capable of making a big impact at the next level.
"I think my first step separates me from other defensive ends out there. For me, I think my the ability to rush the passer is above what other guys out there in my class can do. I feel like I'm the best at it."