Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Riccio Making Move to Delaware

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Riccio Making Move to Delaware

Article excerpt

There are times when it's better to cut and run, especially in college football. But not necessarily on the field.

For Sonny Riccio, that time came after the 2003 season. He is leaving Missouri and transferring to the University of Delaware.

Riccio, a former Ellwood City High School football and baseball standout, played in the shadow of Brad Smith at Missouri the past two seasons.

Smith, like Riccio, was a redshirt sophomore this past season. Smith rushed 192 times for 1,310 yards and 17 touchdowns, and completed 194 of 320 passes for another 1,822 yards and 11 scores with just six interceptions during the regular season. He guided Missouri to an 8-5 record and an appearance in the Independence Bowl.

Riccio was the holder for field goals and extra points and played in all 13 games. But he quarterbacked just a handful of plays and was smart enough to know that unless Smith went out with a major injury, he was going to be the No. 2 man the rest of his college career.

"I didn't say anything during the season because I didn't want to be a distraction or anything," Riccio said. "But when I went in to talk to the coaches after the bowl game, they said they expected it."

With the help of Ellwood City football coach Curt Agostinelli, he started talking to the coaches at Delaware, the NCAA Division I-AA champion.

Andy Hall, who quarterbacked the Blue Hens to the NCAA title, is a senior and will be graduating. His backup was redshirt freshman Ryan Carty. Riccio just wants a chance to compete for a starting job.

"I'm a starting quarterback," he said. "I knew that wasn't going to happen for me at Missouri. Going to Delaware is an opportunity and I'm excited about getting a chance to play."

With two years of eligibility remaining, Riccio had to transfer to a program lower than Division I if he wanted to play this fall. He visited Delaware two weeks ago and will enroll in classes there next month. Delaware was not one of the schools on Riccio's list coming out of high school. …

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