Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Charger lineman bolting up on the recruiting trail

Erik Botello of Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta has received plenty of attention from five mid-major college football programs for his play along the Chargers' line (photo contributed). 
After sending three Charger football players to the four-year college level in 2013, Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta has had a two-year absence from producing NCAA talent.

But now enters Class of 2016 Charger Erik Botello to re-open DP’s college football factory and follow the footsteps of Nico Bornand (UNLV), Anthony Spiritosanto (University of San Diego) and Jason Schwartz (Azusa Pacific).

The versatile and powerful lineman is surfacing as the Chargers’ newest top college football prospect. The 6-foot-1, 255-pound offensive and defensive lineman has had college coaches visiting him on the Central Coast campus. Botello had Cal Poly, San Diego State, Wyoming and New Mexico representatives chatting with him during the NCAA Spring Evaluation period.

One California school has showered him with the most love.

“Cal Poly has shown the most interest. They said they see me as an offensive lineman for their type of offense,” Botello said.

The Mustangs, who are located 96.9 miles North on Highway 101 from DPHS, has run a triple option scheme requiring fast, athletic and powerful trench men.

Botello looks like an ideal lineman for that kind of attack. Anyone who’s watched a Dos Pueblos varsity football game has probably seen No. 60 drive block his defender out of a play or drilling him into the grass during running plays. On screens, Botello becomes the lead blocker who hunts down the first man trying to touch his running back and removes the defender from the play.

But Botello does more than run and pass block from his center or left tackle spot. He’s causing aftershocks against opposing offensive lines as an interior bully for the Chargers’ four-man defensive front.

Botello uses his bull rush, motor and rip move to slip by blockers and stuff the run. One Division II powerhouse down in Los Angeles County became impressed with his defensive line play.

“I went to Azusa Pacific’s junior day and got great feedback from the defensive line coach,” Botello said. “They like me as a d-lineman.”

Botello hasn’t been offered a football scholarship yet, but the attention he’s received from the five mid-major programs have increased his chances of landing his first offer. He adds that he’s open to playing any position on the line.

Said Botello: “I would like to play on the defensive line, but I’ll play whatever position just so I can have the opportunity of playing at the next level.”

More on Botello can be found here

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