Nicholls State football coach Tim Rebowe didn’t hide his intentions with Central Catholic-Morgan City running back Stefano Guarisco.
Rebowe, who revived the Colonels’ fortunes in his first season in 2015, got straight to the point with Guarisco during a Monday meeting at Central Catholic.
“He said, ‘let’s cut to the chase’,” Guarisco said of Rebowe. “He said that he wanted me to play for him. I’ve wanted to play at Nicholls and he gave me the opportunity and I committed on the spot.”
The commitment to Nicholls not only ensures a spot for Guarisco in a promising recruiting class, but validated all of the hard work and ability to persevere when some observers didn’t believe the 5-foot-8, 175-pounder could advance his career beyond high school.
“Going into my freshman year of high school I would have never thought I would be playing in college, said Guarisco, who was 5-5 and 150 pounds four years ago. “I never thought I would have the size, but it always motivated me to work harder and to get to the next level.”
Second-year Central Catholic coach Tommy Minton was one such believer, imploring Guarisco going into his junior year to thrive in the weight room more and improve on his obvious skills, which were his speed and vision.
“I think he’ll make a smooth transition because of his work ethic and his knowledge of the game,” Minton said. “He realizes it’s a bigger and faster game from high school.”
Guarisco leaves behind a decorated career at Central Catholic where he earned first team Class 1A all-state honors and was named The Advocate’s Class 3A-and-below Outstanding Offensive Player.
The Eagles (10-2) shared the District 7-1A championship with Ascension Episcopal and reached the Division IV state quarterfinals.
Guarisco finished as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 736 carries for 5,358 yards. He set the single-season rushing mark this past season with 299 carries for 2,728 yards and 39 touchdowns.
Guarisco also caught 15 passes for 312 yards and five TDs and returned three kickoffs for scores, giving him a total of 47 touchdowns and 344 points scored.
“I’m hoping we left a big mark, bringing a district championship here,” Guarisco said. “I’m hoping it grows because I think we left a winning attitude.”
Guarisco attended several college camps last summer, including Nicholls’ and gained an insight into the direction the Colonels were headed with a pair of unofficial in-season visits.
He took an official visit to Arkansas-Monticello last weekend and will take an official trip this weekend to Nicholls, where he could play running back, slot receiver and kick returner.
“It’s an accomplishment for me. It’s something I always wanted to do,” said Guarisco, who said he’ll sign next Wednesday during a school ceremony at 10:45 a.m. “I guess all the people that said I couldn’t make it because of my size pushed me to work harder each every day to reach that goal.”