LOUISVILLE — Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.
That is exactly what Monarch's Nico Magri did when he walked away from a scholarship to play football at the University of Northern Colorado to be a preferred walk-on for coach Mike MacIntyre at the University of Colorado.
"It was more so a gut feeling than anything else and it was something that I immediately liked when I went there," said Magri, a BoCoPreps.com All Region selection at defensive end.
Coming off a 49 tackle season for the Coyotes when he constantly drew double and triple teams, Magri knows that the road ahead will be tough, but he is more than willing to put in the work.
He is going to have to given the long list of defensive line recruits in the Buffs 2017 class that include Chris Mulumba, Dante Sparaco, Javier Edwards and Colorado's Jalen Sami (Vista Ridge High School in Colorado Springs). Magri will also compete with the likes of Sebastian Olver and Jacob Callier for a spot on the roster.
"I already know I am going to have to work my rear end off going to CU. They took in a lot of defensive linemen with this recruiting class and I have talked to the coaches and they said I am going to need to gain some more weight," said Magri, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds.
"I am willing to put in the hours and do whatever it takes to eventually play. If that means going into the weight room whenever to get ahead of the competition, then I am willing to do that."
Magri knows too that going above and beyond to separate himself from he pack is a must.
"I really think it just is my frame of mind and my work ethic. I know that I may not be the strongest kid going in or I may not be the fastest kid," he said, "but I know that I will work the hardest out of anybody else there."
In the end, it was a difficult decision to pass up on the scholarship offer in Greeley, and "I definitely think (UNC) were disappointed, but it was really between UNC and CU. They wanted me up there, obviously they gave me scholarship money, but I really think CU is the better choice for me," Magri said.
UNC did land one Coyote player, however. Former Monarch linebacker Pete Mitchel spent last season at Glendale Community College in Phoenix, Arizona and will join the Bears at UNC this fall.