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La Salle-Peru senior Zack Cinotto (seated, center) is joined by his parents (seated) Michelle and Rick and L-P football coach Joe Sassano (standing) as he commits to play football at St. Ambrose University. Cinotto threw for 1,753 yards and 14 touchdowns this fall at quarterback for the Cavaliers.
Since his recruitment began the summer before his junior year, La Salle-Peru quarterback Zack Cinotto has considered a lot of schools.
He visited Western Illinois University, Illinois State University, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, St. Ambrose University, Robert Morris University and North Central College.
Cinotto also considered an offer to walk on at the University of Illinois.
In the end, he felt St. Ambrose, an NAIA school in Davenport, Iowa, was the best fit.
“I feel like I have the best opportunity to play there, and it’s definitely the best financially for me and my family,” said Cinotto, who held a signing ceremony Wednesday. “They made me the best offer, so I had to jump on that.”
Cinotto also feels he will fit in well in the St. Ambrose offense.
“They have a senior quarterback who’s been starting since sophomore year,” Cinotto said. “The coach told me I could maybe get into the end of games as the backup this year. Then I’m going to strive to start sophomore year. They are 60 percent pass and 40 percent run. They run a pro style offense out of the shutgun. That’s what I’ve always run in high school so it will be an easy transition. I’ll be comfortable doing that.”
As a senior, Cinotto threw for 1,753 yards and 14 touchdowns on 101-of-201 passing and earned All-Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference West Division honors. “He definitely has passion for the game,” L-P coach Joe Sassano said. “Football seems to be a big part of his life, so he’ll spend a lot of time and energy trying to work on himself physically in the weight room, work on his speed and agility and on his arm strength.”
Cinotto joins a St. Ambrose program that went 9-2 last season, won a share of the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League title, earned a spot in the NAIA playoffs and finished 10th in the final NAIA Football Coaches Poll.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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