Nic Lamica sees football just a little differently than the rest


Photo credit: Alec Balenciaga

Collin Wilson and Collin Wilson

“You’re blind in your right eye. That’s how it’s going to be your whole life.”

Nic Lamica, as a young child, heard these words from his father after asking why he could only see out of the left side of his binoculars.

Lamica went through surgery as a three-month-old baby, having a portion of his eye removed due to the diagnosis of Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous (PHPV). “I got (the portion back) when I was 18,” he said. “They were hoping it would correct my vision… it stayed pretty much the same.”

At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, it was going to take more than this hindrance to keep him away from sports.

A two-star prospect and the 17th ranked player in Michigan by The Lake Michigan Football Report, Lamica gained notice from coaches. Due to personal concerns, he tried to keep PHPV a secret as long as he could from colleges.

“I just never even said anything about it. (If they asked) I said, ‘Yeah, I got some kind of issue,’” he said.

Robert Morris, whether it knew of the blindness or not, found a playmaker in Lamica and placed him in Moon Township originally as a linebacker. Though, the school was well aware of his time spent at receiver at Forest Hills Central High School in Grand Rapids, MI.

Due to injuries and lack of playmakers in the 2014 season, Lamica switched to wide receiver and eventually landed at tight end. And he had his fair share of obstacles along the way.

“It makes it hard on things like trying to catch balls and depth perception… (along with) running routes, trying to get your head turned,” said Lamica. “In the game, actually, I couldn’t see the ball and it hit me in the hands twice. (The coaches asked) ‘What’s going on? Why aren’t you catching the ball?’ (I said), ‘I can’t see it.’”

Never discouraged, though, Lamica stepped into many roles and performed well despite his disability. He has 43 catches for 530 yards and four touchdowns in his tenure at wide receiver for the Colonials.

As he finishes his fourth season with RMU, Lamica is back on defensive coordinator Scott Farison’s side of the football, playing on the defensive line.

“Farison’s a great leader and a great guy, and I can’t say enough about him,” said Lamica. “He kind of holds everyone together.”

The Colonials have seen their struggles throughout the past few years, but Lamica has always remained positive with more than just football. Talking with Lamica, he would often crack jokes with teammates and coaches, lighting up many situations.

Lamica still holds one year of eligibility after the completion of this season, and the personality and skill-set he brings to the team despite the concern of sight is something RMU does not take for granted.