Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.
Name: Nick Rinella
College: Saint Francis University
Height, weight, class, position: 5-foot-10, 200-pound, junior, safety
High School: LaSalle College HS, Collegeville, Pa.
About Rinella: Arrived at Saint Francis as a highly decorated high school player on both side of the ball, earning first-team All-State honors as a senior. Played right away as a freshman on special teams and has started as a safety the last two seasons for the Red Flash. … Serves as a leader for the SFU Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. … Has recorded more than 1,100 yards as a kickoff and punt return specialist with three punts returns for touchdowns. … Has 110 tackles and four interceptions in 15 games as a starter at safety. … In 2017 was second-team All-NEC as a punt return specialist and a CoSIDA Academic All-District selction.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
Rinella: My first career punt return against Robert Morris my sophomore year.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?
Rinella: I wanted to help make a difference in this world and I wanted to get involved with something on campus. Uplifting Athletes felt like such a good opportunity and experience to pass up.
What have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?
Rinella: That there are so many people out there with rare disease stories that no one knows about. That there are so many people out there trying to make a difference for these people that just aren’t being heard and we have a great opportunity to change that.
As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?
Rinella: Walking down to the field through the tailgating parking lot and seeing all the support we have and hear all the fans cheering as we walk by.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
Rinella: Earl Thomas because I love the way he plays the game and how he continues to learn more and more about the game each year. Plus, it helps that he is the best safety in the league.
What is your favorite road stadium you ever played in and why?
Rinella: Montana’s because it was electrifying and so big. It was a really neat experience.
HOT SEAT QUESTIONS
What is your perfect pizza?
Rinella: Meat Lovers
Last 3 songs you added to your playlist?
Rinella: FEFE; Barbie Dreams; Don’t
What is your go-to fast food restaurant?
Favorite sports team (any sport)?
Rinella: The Chicago Bears
What is the most used app on your phone?
No. 1 goal for yourself in 5 years?
Rinella: To be playing as an All-Pro in the NFL