Unfinished Business for UMD’s Nate Ricci
The star WR is back after a injury-shortened senior year.
DULUTH, Minn. – Last season during a Week 3 game against Minnesota State-Mankato, UMD wide receiver Nate Ricci broke his collarbone which ended his senior season.
“My initial reaction was ‘Oh crap. My career is over.’ Then talking with Coach [Wiese] and talking with the training staff, they said we’ll look into it and see what the options are for redshirt,” Ricci said.
“For him coming back, that’s tough. Any injury, while they’re pretty much expected in football, they’re tough to come back from, regardless if it was a minor injury or a major injury,” said wide receiver Jason Balts.
Not satisfied with his senior year coming to an abrupt end, Ricci would apply for a medical redshirt to try and get back on the team the following year.
“I think the rule is three games, competitions or 30% of your season. I broke it in the third game in the third quarter so if I would’ve been a quarter later like the first quarter of the fourth game, I wouldn’t have been able to get it,” said Ricci
And now Ricci is back for the Bulldogs in 2018, and the team has been impressed with his drive to get one more shot at redemption.
“You find out a lot about somebody when they go through adversity and Nate has gone through a lot of adversity. To be back as a second-year captain says a lot about him as a person and we’re excited to have him back and have an opportunity to make some plays this fall,” head coach Curt Wiese said.
“It’s exciting to see where he’s going to go and how he’s going to use this opportunity to have another hopefully successful season. In the same sense, he’s coming out working every day so we’re looking forward to it,” said Balts.
And it’s a second chance that Ricci won’t take for granted.
“My motivation factor is really high to continue and be better than I was last year and two years ago. I’m very excited for that,” Ricci said