There are not many prospects in the 2021 class that Penn State has been recruiting longer than five-star offensive tackle Nolan Rucci. The Warwick, PA native was offered by the Nittany Lions back in September of 2018. That work continues to pay off, as Rucci has included the Lions in his top-nine.
Penn State was joined by Clemson, Wisconsin, Stanford, Alabama, Michigan, LSU, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.
Rucci is no stranger to Happy Valley. His father, Todd, played for the Lions along the offensive line in the early-90s before an eight-year NFL career with New England. His mother Stacy was an All-American field hockey player for the Nittany Lions as well.
In addition to growing up around the program, the younger Rucci has also visited at least seven times since September of 2018. The most recent trip came back in October for the Michigan game. James Franklin and new offensive line coach Phil Trautwein also paid a visit to Warwick in late-January.
While nine programs remain in the running for Rucci, it's thought that Penn State, Wisconsin, and Clemson have separated themselves from the rest. Notre Dame is also a factor. Nolan's older brother Hayden just completed his first season with the Badgers as a tight end, and the family has spent plenty of time in Madison. Clemson has emerged as a contender after offering in the summer of 2019, and a March visit right before recruiting was shut down.
According to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports, Rucci intends to take visits as soon as he is able, before deciding prior to the start of his senior season at Warwick.