Son of former NFL player to visit BYU

For the class of 2013, the Cougar coaching staff is looking for the next big-time players to man the heart and soul of Coach Mendenhall's swarm defense. On the radar is an Oregon first-team all-league prospect considered one of the better linebacker prospects in the state.

Beaverton High School plays various defensive schemes ranging from the 3-4 to the 4-3, and head coach Bob Boyer uses 6-foot-4-inch, 220-pound Evan Colorito to play both in the trenches and at the middle linebacker position.

"During my sophomore year I was on the varsity team and playing linebacker but didn't play that much," Colorito said. "In our third game in the preseason, I just went in and didn't really know what I was doing as sort of a stand up defensive end.

"I had a few tackles and then the next game I started as a d-end. Ever since then I just played d-end and then this year I just kind of played both. This past year, I mostly played d-end, but in games where they were primarily a running team I would play linebacker because it's hard to block me."

Although Colorito has dueled both as a defensive end and linebacker, his natural position is linebacker.

"Even though I played d-end and linebacker this past year, I like playing linebacker because it's my natural position," Colorito said. "It's the position I'm projected to play at the next level."

Colorito plays at the point of attack with good pad level and leverage. He uses his hands well and gets to the offender first, placing himself in a position to control the point of attack. He has good core strength and sheds blocks well, which is why his coach switched him from controlling to point of attack on the defensive line to making tackles as a linebacker.

"I'm pretty aggressive and use my hands a lot," said Colorito. "I'm also pretty quick for my size, so I can get around or by a lot of guys to make plays."

Although Beaverton High School went 3-7 last year, Colorito is being looked by quite a few Division I colleges.

"Well, since my junior year Washington, Portland State, UCLA, Oregon State have been looking at me," Colorito said. "About a month ago, more schools started looking at me. BYU has been looking at me since I was a sophomore and recently they just got back in touch with me. So, they're interested and so is Utah. Purdue has also contacted me and said they're interested.

"BYU is looking at me pretty hard. Coach Poppinga, who is their outside linebackers coach, said he loved my film and that the whole coaching staff loved my film. Coach Poppinga said how the whole defensive coaching staff loved my film and how I would fit in well with their defense."

Surprisingly, Colorito was aware of BYU's defensive style of play under Coach Mendenhall.

"BYU is known for having a tough defense, and for having tough linebackers," Colorito said. "Over the past four or five years, BYU has sent around four or five guys to the NFL or are now on NFL teams."

Coach Poppinga compared Colorito to a current prominent BYU outside linebacker that Cougar fans know and love.

"He said and compared me to Kyle Van Noy, who is one of BYU's best defensive players and is a sophomore outside linebacker," Colorito said. "He said I have a similar body type and how if I played for BYU I would be that type of player."

Colorito's father Tony lettered for USC from 1983-85 while playing for John Robinson. In December of 1985, he underwent ankle surgery to repair a ligament injury that occurred against Stanford. The injury caused him to miss the Aloha Bowl, but he was nevertheless drafted in the fifth round by the Denver Broncos in 1986.

"He was recruited out of New York City and went to USC, said Colorito about his dad. "He played in two Rose Bowls there, I think. He was drafted late while recovering from a broken ankle. He played his first season with Denver and then in the first game of the third season they played in London. That's when he tore his ACL. I just talked about this with him yesterday. While he was in college he got really busted up and in the NFL he tore his ACL. Then tore his meniscus in his other knee, and so his body was just done and he just retired."

The younger Colorito currently has three scheduled Junior Day trips set up so far.

"Well so far I'm going to Boise State in the second week of April for their Junior Day," said Colorito. "Then I'm going to BYU on the second week of June and then Oregon in late June so far."

Colorito was invited to come to Boise State by the Broncos' linebacker coach.

"They contacted my coach and then I called their linebackers coach, Coach [Bob] Gregory, and he was saying how they saw my film and were interested," Colorito said. "He said he wants to see me in person so he invited me their Junior Day, so I'm just going to go down and check things out."

Meanwhile, Colorito said that Oregon was one of the first schools to recruit him.

"Coach Greatwood is the recruiter over Oregon and he contacted my coach and said he wants to meet me and talk to me about stuff. He was going to come down to my school but then he got busy doing some other stuff, so they gave out some recruiting tickets for some basketball game on March 3rd and wants to talk to me there."

Colorito also plans on visiting BYU.

"I'm going to go up to BYU around June 3rd," Colorito said. "I'll probably go up the day before though. Coach Poppinga has talked about to me about all the standards and honor code a lot. I also have two close friends have already committed to BYU and they tell me about it."

And who are his close friends that have committed to BYU for the 2013 class?

"Dallin Leavitt and Brayden Kearsley," Colorito said. "I've known those guys for a couple of years. Dallin is one of my really close friends and always has my back no matter what. Me and Brayden are really close too. He's always positive and always has good things to say, and we talk around three or four times a week even though we both go to different schools. He's always in a good mood and so I'm really close to both of them."

So what does Colorito think about having two close friends attend a college that is currently recruiting him?

"The fact that they've already committed there makes me lean towards BYU a little more," Colorito said. "From the other schools, no one is really dishing out any information about their school and their program. But with Dallin and Brayden, I'm getting a lot of information from them about BYU."

Although Colorito grew up a USC fan most of his life, he's really grown to like BYU and how the university focuses on things most important in life.

"I love BYU and how they treat their student athletes when it comes to sports and academics," Colorito said. "I know that when you play sports at BYU, they really help you focus and encourage you to be successful in what you're studying. BYU really is just a pure school. I know that three-fourths of the people there are Mormon, and it's nice because when you go there you have to sign a contract or honor code that you'll respect the rules and standards. I just like how pure the school is and just how everyone is committed to what they're doing."

While visiting some of these college campuses, there will be specific things Colorito will he be looking for.

"If I had to narrow down schools, I would first look at the coaching staff and how much interest they have in me," he said. "I want to go to a school where the coaches like you and show that genuine interest in you rather than just say it but really like someone else better. I want to go to a school where the coaches want you there the most, and would think that's a top-three reason to choose a school.

"I want to like a school enough to where if I were to get injured, I would enjoy being there. I would enjoy being around the people there and the classes that I'm taking. I wouldn't just be there for football, so I want to be at a place that I enjoy being at. I know there is a possibility that football might not always be there and that I could get injured, so I want to be at a place where you're not just thrown away but is still cared about at a place you enjoy being at.

"I also want to be a part of a program where the coaches are organized and where football is an important part of the program. I just want to go to a good, strong football school that really wants me the most. I want to be at a place where I'm close to the guys on the team and where I'm close with the coaches. If I'm having a rough day, I want to have the kind of relationship with the coaches where they can look at me as a person and try and pick me up instead of just a football player."

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