The more time Nic Purcell spent in Seattle, the more it reminded him of Auckland, New Zealand.
“It reminded me a lot of where I’m from in New Zealand,” Purcell said. “The city on the water, Auckland is on the harbor. It even just looks the same.”
The 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive tackle out of Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif., spent two days at Washington this week on an official visit.
He liked the university. He liked the academic options. He liked the football program.
“Your football life is very small in comparison to the rest of your life, so academics is a very important aspect of that,” Purcell said.
“The coaching staff is quite young. They bring a lot of energy to the program.”
But, while he was impressed with his visit, he is still in the process of figuring out what he is looking for in a program. The 26-year-old is preparing for his second season of football, so everything football related, on and off the field, provides a learning experience.
“The reality is I’m a bit older than most college athletes,” Purcell said. “I feel I have to approach it differently than an 18-year-old kid that’s getting recruited out of high school. I’m married and so I have to make the best decision for us in terms of academics and football.
“We’re trying to make the best decision and, in order to make the best decision, we need to explore all our options.”
After growing up playing rugby and basketball, football provided Purcell with the opportunity to earn a scholarship when he moved from New Zealand to California. He didn’t set out to land at a Division I university. He was simply hoping to earn a free education
“If I could pick up any scholarship, I’ll be stoked,” he thought when he started.
He now has scholarship offers from Washington, Oregon, BYU, Boise State and Cal, among others. Purcell has plenty of schools to pick from. He plans to take his time.
“I’m slowly learning this recruiting process,” he said. “I understand it’s a business for a lot of schools. I try to focus on finishing this semester at Golden West strong academically and also trying to ball out when it comes to football and focus on that.”