Rick Sarille, Wagner
Key Biscayne, FL/Gulliver Prep
Football • 1995-99
There are very few players who command your immediate attention each and every time they touch the ball. Wagner running back Rick Sarille was one of those rare talents in the formative years of NEC football.
A threat to take it to the house every time he took a handoff, Sarille was a two-time AP All-American. He earned third team recognition as a junior in 1997, and after redshirting in 1998 due to an injury, collected first team honors as a senior the following year.
Sarille’s array of Northeast Conference accolades was highlighted by his selection as the 1999 NEC Player of the Year. He was a three-time All-NEC honoree at running back and a first team all-star as a kick returner in his final season. The Key Biscayne, FL native also garnered 12 NEC Offensive Player of the Week honors throughout his time on Grymes Hill.
Sarille’s NEC legacy was cemented in 2015 when he was named to the league’s 20th Anniversary All-Time Football Team. He was also inducted into the Wagner Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
Sarille remains Wagner’s all-time leader with 5,290 rushing yards and 334 career points and owns three of the top-10 rushing seasons in school history, including a personal-best 1,479 yards as a sophomore in 1996. He rushed for 100+ yards 28 times in his illustrious career, including eight 200+ yard outings.
Sarille, whose freshman year came one prior to the launch of NEC football in 1996, graduated as the holder of nine NEC career records, including rushing yards (4,460), all-purpose yards (6,253) and scoring (300). Now, 17 years later, he still ranks third in rushing and all-purpose offense, and second in career points.
“Rick Sarille was as fine a running back as I’ve ever coached and we’ve had a lot of really good ones at Wagner,” said Wagner Director of Athletics Walt Hameline. “He was outstanding in all areas - fast, elusive, tough, smart, you name it. In addition to being a tremendous back, he was also terrific on kickoff returns. Rick was the total package. A very special player.”