Nicky Dalmolin didn't want to wait any longer.
He'd known for nearly two years he wanted to play football at Duke. So, just as the early signing period began at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Dalmolin texted in his National Letter of Intent, and it was official.
Dalmolin is a Blue Devil.
"It's awesome," Dalmolin said. "It's been almost two years since I committed and I've just been waiting for this day for a while. This is an exciting day."
Dalmolin verbally committed to Duke way back in March of his sophomore year.
An electric wide receiver at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Duke lists Dalmolin as a tight end, one of two at that position in Duke's recruiting class.
"I think the thing about Nicky is his consistency for four years," Craft said. "He's started 42 career games, which is incredible to do in 7A football. He played everywhere on the field, and I haven't coached a game here without him on the field, so that's going to be different for me."
That consistency was on display through Dalmolin's junior and senior years. Craft said college coaches routinely asked about Dalmolin, but the answer was always the same: Dalmolin is off the board.
In fact, Dalmolin essentially shut down his recruiting after committing to the Blue Devils.
"That was actually the only visit I took — it was the first visit I took — and I realized it was that it was the place I wanted to be at," Dalmolin said. "I felt like it was a superior place for me to be, for my future. I wanted it, so it was set in stone from there. There was really no reason for me to play around with other schools."
Dalmolin rewrote the record book at North Forsyth, setting new marks for career receptions (171) and career receiving yards (2,068).
He finished his senior year with 58 receptions for 797 yards and 12 touchdowns, racking up 916 all-purpose yards.
"We're going to really miss him, obviously on the field, but probably even more what he did off the field for us — helping us establish this program," Craft said. "I feel like for me and my career here, he's kind of walked those steps with me and been a big part of establishing what we've wanted to do here."
Dalmolin exploded for 237 yards and four scores on 13 receptions during the Raiders' come-from-behind, 44-41 win against Brookwood. He set single-game records for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns in the win.
"We felt very accomplished getting to the second round, because that hadn't happened in (13) years," Dalmolin said. "So, we felt pretty accomplished as a senior class. Overall, good year and I'm happy about it."
Dalmolin has a chance to shine for a Duke offense that expects its tight ends to contribute in the passing game. Junior tight end Noah Gray led the Blue Devils this year with 51 catches, adding 392 yards and three scores, both second on the team.
"I think they really see him as a leader in this class," Craft said. "They're fired up about him, and I think he's got a chance to just have a stellar career."