BYU targeting Oregon linebacker

BYU linebacker coach Kelly Poppinga arrived in Oregon on Monday to hit the recruiting trail and visit a number of schools. One school he plans on visiting has an outside linebacker that supposedly is one of the Cougars' top targeted prospects.

Outside the city of Portland lies Beaverton, where Coach Poppinga will be in town on Wednesday to visit Beaverton High School. One reason he's going there is too see a talented linebacker by the name of Evan Colorito.

Colorito is working on developing and preparing himself for his final year of high school and a few camps on the horizon.

"Every football player lifts and that's what I've been doing, but I've also been doing different types of plyometrics training because you can't get faster if you're not flexible," said Colorito. "Once you're athletic you can broaden your athleticism, and so that's what I'm trying to do."

There are several camps that Colorito plans to attending.

"Well, so far I'll probably go to the Nike football camp in Oregon and then go to Oregon for team camp," said Colorito. "Then I'll probably go for a day at Cal and USC."

Colorito is also trying to make an effort to get down to Provo for a visit as well.

"I still might go down to BYU's Junior Day in June if it's convenient, because it will be going when I'm still in school," said Colorito. "I think it's on the 13th of June, but I still have school, so I'm trying to talk to Coach Poppinga and my coach on how to work things out with them. It's just the whole convenience thing and I'm trying my hardest to come down there to visit the campus for at least one day. If I had lived in Utah I would have already been down there."

Colorito had good things to say about Coach Poppinga.

"I really like him a lot and he's young. I can talk to him and he's just a down-to-earth kind of guy. He and I have a really good connection. I heard he flew in last night and that he was in town and was going to stop by my school.

"Coach Poppinga just told me to come down to the Junior Day because the other camp that they have is kind of a padded camp. He said if I went down for the Junior Day, or just down there in general, that he just wants me to come down for a day to show me the campus and run me through some drills. Rather than just have me run through their camp, he just wants me to get there."

According to Colorito, the reason why Coach Poppinga wants him to just make a quick visit to BYU is to fulfill the last part of the recruiting evaluation process.

"He's been saying for the past three months that I'm their guy, that I'm their number one guy on their list, so if I just go down there and show them what I can do and run through some drills and see the campus [I could get an offer]. I was told that those are the two things holding me back from getting an offer, because they're not the type of school to just offer anyone. They want me to come down to the campus and check it out and meet Coach Mendenhall."

BYU first discovered the Oregon prospect while he was in his sophomore year at Beaverton.

"I think it's pretty cool because BYU was the first school to really evaluate me when I was a sophomore," said Colorito. "It was kind of cool as a sophomore to be looked at by a college as a future prospect, and they were the first college to really do that to me. BYU couldn't recruit me my sophomore year, but then after my junior year that's when they could. BYU has been one of the schools to recruit me the heaviest since then, so it's been really cool because I've always wanted to be in the position and now I'm here."

Although Colorito hasn't been on BYU's campus yet, he still holds BYU in high regard.

"Yeah, BYU is in my top five," said Colorito, who isn't LDS. "What I know about BYU is it's a clean and more pure school where a majority of the people there are Mormon. You have to sign a contract just to go there saying that you'll live by these guidelines for the next four-to-five years, and if you don't, then you'll have to suffer the consequences for not doing so.

"When it comes to sports and student athletes, what they're focusing on is creating an environment where you can just focus on those two things and not be distracted by other stuff found at other colleges. Coach Poppinga is kind of home-grown. He's Mormon and played at BYU and is now back there coaching. He's a great coach on a really good coaching staff that I'm hearing about from a lot of different people. They have a good program and good players that consistently win. I've heard that Provo is a really nice town."

Getting recruits on campus is just as important to the coaches as it is to the players deciding where to attend school, and Colorito recognizes that.

"I feel like if I were at BYU tomorrow and do what Coach Poppinga wants me to do, like do drills, tour the campus and meet with the coaches, that it would definitely enhance my final decision come signing day. You can know a lot about a school and you can sift through one school or another, but once you go down there you can actually know and kind of experience things on a personal level. That's when your gut feeling can say you fit here or you don't."


Total Blue Sports Top Stories