Nik Scalzo a ‘next-level talent’


Nik Scalzo a ‘next-level talent’

Nik Scalzo is only 14 years old, but he has a long history at quarterback.
“I started playing quarterback when I was 5 years old, in flag football,” Scalzo said. “I’m still playing, and it’s always been the position I’ve wanted to play. I just like commanding the offense and being the leader of the team.”
Scalzo also like likes to compete and be successful, and he has certainly been achieving those goals.
As a seventh grader last year for Coconut Creek, Scalzo wasn’t overly thrilled with the Eagles’ 5-6 record during the regular season. “Even though a lot of things happened during the regular season that weren’t so good, we all came together in the playoffs and beat an undefeated team,” he said.
Coconut Creek lost in the second round of the playoffs and finished with a 6-7 overall record, but Scalzo had a phenomenal season. The 5-foot-8, 145-pounder threw for over 2,000 yards and had 32 touchdown passes and only 6 interceptions.
When the Eagles’ season ended, Scalzo was far from finished.

National success

He was the QB for South Florida in the FBU national tournament, and Scalzo led his team to state wins over Central Florida (41-6) and Southwest Florida (32-0).
After that, it was on to regional play in Buford, Ga., and Scalzo and South Florida kept on rolling with a 42-0 win over South Charlotte and a a 35-6 thumping of Georgia.
Advancing to nationals, South Florida beat Indiana 33-0 and followed up with a convincing 41-6 win over Iowa at the Alamodome in San Antonio to claim the championship.
In the six FBU games, Scalzo passed for 1,200 yards and 17 TDs while throwing just 1 interception. Along with running backs Nayquan Wright and James Cook, he was named Most Valuable Player.
It was quite an experience for Scalzo, but his season still wasn’t done.

7v7 success

Last month, Scalzo led his IMG 7v7 team to a national championship and he was again named MVP.
“Playing 7 on 7, it helps a lot as a quarterback because coming from tackle, you just have to make your reads,” Scalzo said. “It’s harder in tackle because you don’t have the time; you don’t have 4 seconds on every play. In 7 on 7, it gives you a lot of reps and it helps you get your timing down.”
Scalzo is already making a name for himself at quarterback, and training with NFA and Coach Darin Slack the past four years has helped his development. “Coach Slack helped me develop all of my technique and my footwork,” Scalzo said.

Bright future

Looking back on all of Scalzo’s accomplishments this past season, Slack seems even bigger things ahead.
“Nik has next-level talent that will take him very far in this game,” Slack said. “His competitiveness, character and athleticism will make him a very valuable catch for any school or college that gets him. I’ve watched Nik’s growth for the past few years as a young man and a player.
“He continues to demonstrate that he is able to handle the pressure of increased opportunities and bigger showcase stages. While he is a quarterback that possesses great skill and decision-making discipline, more importantly, he is calm under fire.”

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University