- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
He might not have been in a classroom, but Luca Bruno (Oak Park, Calif./Oak Park) did plenty of homework this summer. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound two-way lineman took unofficial visits to a handful of schools and worked hard to narrow down his finalists. And as fall camp gets underway, Bruno has a top five schools: Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon State and SMU.
“I got to see them all this summer and that’s why they’re higher up,” Bruno said. “I had a very long list of schools I wanted to see, but I feel very comfortable with those five.”
Bruno said he would like to take at least three official visits, but is more concerned with witnessing the game day atmosphere at each school. He said the unofficial visits he took gave him a good look at the campus and the school in general. He doesn’t expect to take long with his decision, as he plans to take all of his visits within the first few weeks of the season and hopefully decide by the midway point of his schedule.
Bruno said he was able to visit with the football and academic staff at each of his top five schools and feels as if each one would be a good fit for him. So it could come down to what he witnesses on the field.
“At my school, our standpoint is to always play hard football,” Bruno said. “My top choices do have a very hard attitude when they are out there. It’s about playing hard-knock football.”
Bruno is being recruited as a defensive lineman by all five programs, and while there is a mix of three and four-man fronts, he said he isn’t bothered by where he winds up along the line.
“A lot of schools want me to play defensive tackle, which I’m fine with,” he said. “Arizona said I could maybe even slide out and start at defensive end. But I’m fine anywhere on the line.”
Bruno racked up 133 tackles and six sacks last season and is looking forward to hitting the field for his senior year.
“You can only have one senior season in high school,” Bruno said. “Once you get to college, it’s still fun, but it’s more of a job. I’m very excited that I get to play with people I’ve been playing with for my whole life. I feel our team is a lot better than we were last year. We have a good offense, and from a defensive standpoint, I think we have one of the best defensive lines in the conference.”