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89 Days until Hawkeye Football: Nico Ragaini

The redshirt freshman was this year’s spring ball winner, will it translate to fall?

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Our first skill position player should factor heavily into Iowa’s 2019 offense!

Nico Ragaini - RS Freshman
East Haven, CT (Notre Dame)
6’0”, 192 lbs
2019 Projection: Starting slot receiver

Most of Ragaini’s highlights so far are on fields which also sport lacrosse lines. Or football lines, if you’re watching his lacrosse mixtape. In those videos, he’s often the fastest, shiftiest guy on the field and his team made it a point to get it to him. But when you’re in a position to be sharing a field with the lacrosse team - or live in the northeast - the highlights are probably not going to be seen by a lot of people, even if you left your high school career as the all-time receptions leader in Connecticut high school history.

In that regard, he reminds me of Jordan Canzeri, who blew people away outside of Albany, NY but there were concerns about his size which don’t exist for Ragaini who’s listed at six feet tall. As a slot receiver, that’s perfectly acceptable.

In his highlight videos, you’ll see him used all over the field but perhaps most enticing is how his HS team used him on tunnel screens. Given the athleticism Iowa possesses in the trenches, we should see this return to the fold.

Ragaini has also been touted as “harder to guard than Easley” by Geno Stone. It’s certainly the type of thing you’d like to hear about the guy replacing Iowa’s reception leader from last year. Considering Iowa’s slot receiver has led the team in receptions each of the last four seasons according to Marc Morehouse, it heightens the importance of the position.

With Iowa’s three top targets gone from last year’s offense, there are catches to be had. Considering the spring Nico has had, he’s put himself in a position to get a lion’s share of them. The Big Ten is a huge step up from the lacrosse-lined fields of Connecticut but there’s reason to believe Ragaini is ready to take it.