This month’s UMRFC Player of the Month is a gentleman and a scholar. Although often teased for his ties to the Jersey Shore, John Palladino is far from the notorious New Jerseyan stereotype. In just his second year with the club, Palladino has already established himself as a leader and role model on the team. Upon returning to school earlier this fall, John was one of two players given awards for their off-season gains in the weight room. With his inspirational discipline and will power, Palladino gained 20+ lbs during his freshmen summer catapulting him into A-side contention. His hard work in the off season and fall 15′s landed him a spot on the UMRFC sevens squad that competed in the Big Ten Sevens tournament in Columbus, Ohio. Off the pitch, Palladino is one of the team’s beloved “Engi-nerds” who can often be found at the team’s study tables. With two and a half years left as a Michigan rugger, the UMRFC’s future looks bright.
Height: 5 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 180 lbs.
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Hometown: Manalapan, NJ
It was a sport that I always wanted to try but never got the chance to, until now.
What have you liked about Michigan rugby the most so far?
I’d have to say the excitement of playing with hard-working teammates in big games like Indiana and Michigan State. Also, the camaraderie is something that I have never experienced before, and I am thankful that I get the privilege to share it with such unique and memorable individuals.
Most memorable moment on the pitch?
Beating Indiana this year at Bloomington. Granted I wasn’t on the field for that long, but I was physically on the pitch when Jordan Ulmer scored that inspiring try to win the game. It was probably the most excited/thrilled I’ve seen the entire team thus far and I hope to experience more memorable moments like it.
What’s your favorite rugby drill in practice? Least favorite?
It’s hard to choose just one as they are all so beneficial and enjoyable thanks to Coach. My all time favorite one though is the defense vs. offense sideline-break drill. My least favorite would have to be the tackle-train.
What other sports have you played?
I was a gymnast since I was 8 years old up until the beginning of last year. I also played soccer and wrestled in middle school.
In 5 years, what do you see yourself doing?
My goal is to be living on the east coast working on jet engines with a major aerospace engineering company.
What’s some embarrassing childhood memory you can tell us?
When I was a kid I used to spike up my hair and wear undershirts with my chain hanging out. I’m sure we could all guess what I was going for with that look.
Favorite place in Ann Arbor?
The cube when its sunny outside.
My biggest fear is probably failure, not in anything specific, but just not living up to my potential in anything.
Homemade meat lasagna. Not the kind they serve at South Quad though.
Any game day superstitions?
I don’t really have any superstitions, just a routine to make sure I’m prepared and perform at my best.
Favorite superhero and why?
I’d have to say Batman since he doesn’t have any real powers. He’s just highly trained and has unlimited resources which leads to believe that I could have been him someday.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
“Give everything you do 100% of your effort. You’re wasting your time if your giving it anything less.”