River’s Asturi to play football at W.Va. Wesleyan

West Virginia Wesleyan has a new coaching staff in place.

When River High senior Nick Asturi visited Buckhanon, he was told that all players – regardless of class – would be judged the same and all jobs were basically up for grabs.

Throw in the relationships and bonds he formed and add it all up it equaled to Asturi signing his National Letter of Intent to continue both his academic and athletic career with the Bobcats in the fall.

“It’s a really nice place,” Asturi said. “There were things to do and the people were great.”

As for the football side of things, Asturi has been told he’ll be looked at as a running back. That’s fitting after the impressive senior season he had for Coach Mike Flannery’s squad last fall.

“Wesleyan is very fortunate to be getting a kid like Nick,” Flannery said. “When he walks onto the practice field, he’s there to work. He’s an enjoyable kid to have on your team because he’s a team player. He’s a blue-collar guy, who set an example for the other players. He’s definitely deserving of all of the accolades he’s earned.”

In helping to lead the Pilots to the Division VI, Region 23 playoffs, Asturi ran for 1,065 yards and 18 touchdowns.

He earned a plethora of post-season honors, including all Times Leader, all-Eastern District, all-OVAC and all-PVC.

“Making the playoffs was a a great accomplishment for us last season because we really had to earn our way in,” Asturi said. “I was glad that I was able to get over 1,000 yards. I wouldn’t have been able to have that kind of success if it wasn’t for my coaches, linemen, family and friends. I really appreciate all of the support they gave me during my entire high school career.”

Asturi offered his verbal commitment to the Bobcats’ coaching staff last weekend, just a short time after Magnolia’s Stephen Rogalski joined the recruiting class.

“With Stephen going (to Wesleyan), it helped me make the decision a lot easier because I’ll know someone there,” Asturi said.

With his college decision out of the way, Asturi will turn his focus to preparing for the upcoming track season and continuing workouts to prepare himself for the rigors of Division II football.

“I feel like I’ve had a 1,000-pound weight lifted off my back,” Asturi admitted. “I have to continue to get stronger and faster.”

Before signing with the Bobcats, Asturi strongly considered signing with their Mountain East Conference rival West Liberty. He also considered a handful of Division III schools.

Nick, who is undecided about his major, is the son of Joe and Constance Asturi of Powhatan.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com