Vincent Genatone couldn’t remember which university reached out to him first, but he does remember when it all started.
The North Platte junior turned some heads in the winter when he won an NSAA Class A wrestling state championship at 195 pounds. He got even more attention when he ran the 100-meter dash in 10.87 seconds four weeks into the track and field season.
Coaches from Northern Illinois, Utah State, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Southern Mississippi — just to name a few — were calling to show some interest. Even coaches from Power Five conference programs like Nebraska, Northwestern, Boise State, Washington State and California were reaching out.
“A lot of them are trying to get to know who I am and trying to build a relationship,” Genatone said. “Trying to get me out to camp or to just see me in person ... is a big thing.”
He only has three official offers as of now from Montana, Northern Arizona and Southern Mississippi. He’ll have a chance to impress coaches this summer when he attends camps at some Power Five programs.
“It’s going to be really busy,” Genatone said. “I’ll be in Cal on (June) 6th, Nebraska on the 11th, Boise State on the 14th, Washington State on the 19th and on the 22nd I’ll be at Wyoming.”
Genatone said colleges are mostly recruiting him to play middle or outside linebacker. When asked if schools like Nebraska and Washington State talked to him about walking on or potentially getting a scholarship, Genatone said right now, they are just trying to get to know him before he gets to camp this summer.
“They really haven’t been any different than other schools, on a personal level,” he said. “They just want to build a relationship. I appreciate it, because I’m not like another number. It’s like joining a family.”
For now, Genatone is going to do what he can at those camps, then focus on his senior season at North Platte. He had played some quarterback, slotback and fullback at North Platte in the fall, but he said he will probably play just middle linebacker and running back his senior year.
The Bulldogs earned the 10th seed in the Class A playoffs last year and defeated Lincoln High in their first playoff win since 2004.
Genatone, who moved to North Platte from Wyoming during the summer of 2020, was used in various plays on offense where he showed off his size and speed. On defense, the Bulldogs used him at safety before moving him to middle linebacker.
“I’m just going to focus on this next football season,” Genatone said. “Can’t really let this stuff get into my head. Just have to focus on what I can do and take one thing at a time. Only thing I need to worry about right now is my high school team.”