When the best high school football kickers and punters from the 803 area code want to kick together at night, away from the searing summer heat, they usually end up at Clover. That’s because Nick Sciba has the goods.
“I have the key to the lights,” he said.
Sciba has the goods on the field too, a strong-legged rising senior that’s been one of Clover football’s most consistent performers the last three years. Sciba had to wait a few weeks as his close friends and fellow kicking standouts Skyler DeLong (Nation Ford) and B.T. Potter (South Pointe) committed to Alabama and Clemson, respectively. But the Blue Eagle’s patience paid off when he committed his future to Wake Forest on Tuesday.
“Now all three of us have full rides,” Sciba said. “It’s just awesome.”
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Sciba’s recruitment really picked up in the past two weeks. Wake Forest was the third school to offer him, after Virginia Tech and South Carolina got things rolling. Sciba won the kicking competition at the Virginia Tech camp and was offered a preferred walk-on spot about a week later. The Gamecocks extended a similar deal earlier this week, but Wake Forest made the best offer, a full scholarship, and it didn’t Sciba long to decide.
Some were surprised he picked Wake Forest, but they didn’t know the financial details.
“I really wanted my family to not have to worry about me going to college after they helped pay for my kicking camps and college camps,” Sciba said. “It was a big deal for me not having to worry about paying for college.”
Sciba was 5-for-7 on field goals last season and hit 29 of 49 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. He’ll focus on place-kicking at Wake Forest, but also punts for Clover. He credited Charlotte-based kicking coach Dan Orner for helping him - and DeLong and Potter - reach the rarefied level of a full scholarship kicker.
“Usually once a month we’re with Dan together,” said Sciba. “He’s the kicking guru around here. Without him I don’t know where I’d be. And of course my parents as well.”
Wake checked a couple of important boxes for Sciba and his mom and dad, Nikki and Brian: it has an established football program in a Power 5 conference, but is also one of the smallest Division I schools in the country and has a more intimate feel that made Sciba comfortable. He and his family also liked the coaching staff, especially its emphasis on special teams and kickers and punters.
Sciba isn’t sure what he’ll major in at Wake Forest, one of the country’s elite academic institutions, but he does have future career ideas. He’d like to take advantage of college football’s new-found enthusiasm for analysts and land a gig with a program, focusing on special teams. He also would consider coaching. Maybe he could be the next Dan Orner.
“I’d love for that to happen,” Sciba said.