Vic So'oto, a 6-4, 225 pound senior tight end/linebacker from Carlsbad High School, recently returned from an official visit to BYU and offered his assessment: "It was great. It was one of the best experiences."
Brentt Eads, editor and publisher of Student Sports, a national high school sports publication, told TotalBlueSports.com that So'oto is one of the top tight ends in Southern California and a Top 25 national candidate.
Eads, whose organization runs the various NIKE summer football camps, confirmed that So'oto ran an impressive 4.6 in the 40 and did 21 reps (185 pounds) on the bench. "He is a fluid runner with good athleticism and hands. He also plays linebacker, but prefers offense. He currently has offers from BYU, San Diego State, Arizona and Utah."
So'oto made his BYU trip with his parents and watched the USC game on Sept. 18. Although the Cougars lost to the defending co-national champions, So'oto said the lopsided score did not bother him and he was very impressed with the BYU program.
His father, Vic So'oto, Sr., gave TBS his impressions of the visit. "It was beyond our expectations. The whole atmosphere was amazing. We all felt right at home."
So'oto's father added he loved his meeting with BYU head coach Gary Crowton. "Coach Crowton was very honest to us, and I loved that. He told Vic that he has a chance of playing, but he will have to start at the bottom and work his way to the top. He said Phil Niu (who will be behind current starter Daniel Coats next year) will be ahead of Vic because he has more experience, but he feels Vic is very athletic."
After the trip, Cougar coaches called the father to see how his son liked BYU. "I told the coaches, "Let me just say that he is wearing BYU gear around," the father chuckled.
"Before this trip, I wanted Vic to stay close to home and go to school close by. But after the BYU trip, I've had a change of heart. The way the coaches treat the players is great; they treat them like human beings."
He added he liked the fact they have relatives at BYU. Vic is related to Cougar defensive linemen Daniel and Michael Marquardt – and former Cougar linebacker Ammon Mauga.
When asked to describe what kind of football player his son Vic is, the father proudly noted, "He is a playmaker. If its 4th down and you need a first, Vic will make the big catch. He always steps up and makes plays. He's the type of player fans love."
In addition to his 4.6/40, So'oto also has a 34-inch vertical. Though he also plays volleyball for his high school team, football is his passion. "I want to play football in the NFL." he said. "BYU has done a great job of putting tight ends in the NFL. I really like that."
So'oto said he loved the fan experience during his Provo visit. "I couldn't believe the fan support at BYU. The fans were standing and cheering the whole game."
His scholarship offers aside, So'oto said his current top five college choices is BYU, San Diego State, Arizona, Utah, and UCLA.
"Nebraska came to my school and talked to my coach recently and told him they think I'm the second best tight end in the nation," So'oto noted.
Asked to describe his strengths as a football player, So'oto said he is the "total package." He loves to block – and takes pride in that, but he also has great hands and can gain yards after the catch.
So'oto said he has already met the minimum NCAA academic qualifications and currently has a 2.8 GPA and a passing 960 score on his SAT.
He concluded that he plans more recruiting visits before he makes his final college commitment.
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