Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas has won the last five Division I Nevada State Football titles and Nicco Fertitta doesn’t want his class to be the one to stop the streak. On top of that, the 2015 Notre Dame cornerback commit and his teammates enter the season ranked as the number one team in America, according to USA Today.
But Fertitta and Bishop Gorman, which features several Division-I prospects, have managed to enter the season without an overwhelming amount of pressure.
“We don’t even think of ourselves as the number one team in the country,” said Fertitta. “We’re out there and we’re just trying to go 1-0. We don’t care about any of the rankings.”
They may not really care, but they are fired up for the season.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said Fertitta. “I just can’t wait to see what it’s like. I feel like I’m one of the elite players, it’s my last year, I’m older and I just can’t wait to see what happens and how well the new team works together. Right now, we look pretty good and we’re more of a family than we were last year and I just can’t wait to see what it’s like on game day.”
The Gaels will open up the season against Arizona’s Brophy Prep on Aug. 22nd in a game that will be aired on one of Fox Sports’ affiliates.
Fertitta feels like this year’s squad has a lot more chemistry than last year’s group.
“Last year, we had some guys who were all about themselves,” he admitted. “They wanted the ball and they were very vocal about that and their playing time. This year, it’s like we’re all together. There are no cliques or anything.
“It’s just one tight family, everybody is tight with everybody. You can really see that on the field. This will be the closest team I’ve ever seen at Bishop Gorman. I think we all really work together on the field and that’ll be interesting.”
As a senior, Fertitta is putting it upon himself to be a leader.
“We have a lot of young kids, a lot of sophomores and juniors stepping up, so really taking them under my wings,” he said. “If they mess up, I have to coach them up and just teach them the ways and get them ready for the national stage that we play on.”
Fertitta plans on leading by example and with his voice.
“When the team is down one day, I have to pick them up,” he said. “I have to fly around every day in practice at a million miles per hour because what you do in practice is what’s going to happen in the game. I think that me and the other captains have shown that to the younger kids and they’re going to carry on the tradition pretty well.”
Fertitta committed to Notre Dame back in April and doesn’t really feel the need to prove any of the doubters wrong.
“I don’t need to prove anything to anybody,” he said. “I’ve played my game and I don’t care what people think about me.
“I’m going to do my thing and play how I play at Bishop Gorman and move on to Notre Dame and play the exact same way. If people like it then they like it.”
That being said, Fertitta does think spectators will see an improved player this fall.
“I think people are going to notice a lot of different things this year,” he said. “I think they’ll notice my speed and my physicality a lot more, just my awareness and being smarter.”
Few ever doubted Fertitta’s ability and willingness to put a big hit on somebody, but he feels stronger now.
“I think they’ll notice things like getting off of blocks and that type of thing,” he said. “This year, being heavier, it’s easier to move guys around than it used to be.”
Fertitta pointed to his size, saying he’s up to 5-10, 185 pounds from 5-9, 160 last year.
“I got a little bit bigger and faster,” he said. “I think that’s a big thing a lot of people don’t like about me; my height and my size. At the end of the day, you can’t really change people’s opinions. I’m just going to play the game how I play it and we’ll see.”