In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a talented lineman who could slot in as Miami’s center of the future: Windsor (CT) Cheshire Academy 3-star OL Nino Francavilla.
With Mario Cristobal as Miami’s head coach, it should come as no surprise that high level talent acquisition, development, and performance along the offensive line is among the foundations of the program. To help address the talent acquisition side of things, Miami turned their attention to Windsor (CT) Cheshire Academy OL Nino Francavilla.
A native Canadian, Francavilla moved to Loomis Chaffee as a junior to pursue football, and for the elite academics. Francavilla played center on the football team, and teamed with South Carolina QB recruit Dante Reno when he did so.
After that, Francavilla moved to Cheshire Academy for a post-grad year in 2023. He kicked off his 2023 year with school camp visits to FAU, Miami, and NC State. After evaluating his options, Francavilla made a commitment to.....none of the above. He committed to Harvard University on July 25th. The next day, however, Miami extended a scholarship offer to Francavilla.
Upon receiving his Miami scholarship offer, Francavilla took a week to consider his options, then made another move. He decommitted from Harvard and committed to Miami on July 31st.
On the 247sports composite, Francavilla is a 3-star prospect, the #149 interior OL nationally, #12 in the State of Connecticut, and #1923 player overall in this class.
Rudolph committed to Miami over a list of 9 scholarship offers, mostly Ivy League schools such as Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, UPenn, and Yale.
As A Player
At 6’3” 293lbs, Francavilla has enough size to play center. Centers are usually a bit smaller than the rest of their OL counterparts, and Francavilla fits that mold.
Francavilla is older than his 2024 recruit counterparts. He’s actually doing a post-grad year at Cheshire Academy by my count, but that’s fine. That can help him with his physical development and game experience as he transitions to Miami.
If you want a player that plays with a mean streak along the OL, then look no further than Francavilla. He is a ready and willing run blocker, and buries opposing linemen on a regular basis. Francavilla works double teams well, something he’ll have to do at center, and then gets up to the second level to affect the linebackers when possible.
Francavilla does a good job to go and find work in pass protection. He keeps his head on a swivel and will help out his guards (and less frequently tackles) when needed. By going to the work, he helps the offense work better as the opposing DL doesn’t ahve time to work their pass rush moves before he engages as a second blocker.
Movement in the screen game is something Francavilla does well. He has a good feel for timing and gets out ahead of the receivers well.
Also an essential function, Francavilla’s snaps are on target, rarely making the quarterback work to reach to get them handled. Effective and accurate snaps are the key to any play working, so the fact that Francavilla does this well is something that matters. Additionally, he’s a right handed snapper, which is normal. Miami struggled with snaps when Matt Lee left for a few snaps in 2023 and the left handed backup came into the game. It’s a small detail, but all the details matter.
- Snap execution and experience
- High IQ and intellect (multiple Ivy League offers)
- Overall experience as post grad
- Mentality and tenacity
- Needs to get stronger
- A bit old as a prospect since he’s a post grad
- Relatively new to football
Note: changed this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player a couple years ago and we’re continuing that style this year as well.
Francavilla has the tools to be Miami’s center of the future. It’s up to him to show the required development to earn that job.
At this point, Francavilla is a couple years away from the field. He’ll need to improve his technique and refine his body to enter the conversation at center down the line. There’s as much a chance he never plays a meaningful snap at Miami as there is that he wins the starting center job as a redshirt freshman (or later) and develops into a top of the rotation player on Miami’s offensive line.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.