Zachary Soto did his research before he visited UCF. He went online, looked at pictures of the facilities but he had to see the Orlando-based campus for himself to really get a feel for what the Knights had to offer. Once he did see UCF up close and personal he knew that's where he was supposed to be.
"I knew what to expect," Soto told InsideKnights.com. "I was checking the website and looking at pictures to see what to expect, but when I got there the campus exceeded my expectations."
Prior to committing to UCF, Zoto had an offer from UCF and the defending MAC champions, the Buffalo Bulls. He was hesitant to make a choice until he got on campus, but once he did, it was an easy decision.
"It's a relief to have made my decision," said Soto who gave UCF a verbal earlier this week. "It's an excellent college. I went on my tour there a few weekends ago and I really enjoyed the campus. It's more than just about football there, they really care about academics too. It's a great program and I'm excited to spend my college years there. We started off the day with an academic power point on how we'd be graduating and earn our degrees and my parents loved that. I also liked that everything there was relatively new."
Academics certainly stuck out to Soto, who is looking to enter the medical field. Although he's not sure exactly what medical aspect he'd like to pursue, Soto said he sees UCF as a place that can offer him an opportunity to have a stellar career after football, especially with a state of the art medical facility slated to open up off campus.
"I know they're going to be opening up a new medical school soon, so that's real exciting."
The 6'6", 260 lb. tackle from Monsignor Pace H.S. (Fla.) is more than just brains, as he has developed his fair share of braun over the past year. Last season, Soto played left tackle at 220 lbs. and used his athleticism (5.1 second forty-yard dash) to handle pass-rushers. Since the season ended, Soto has made it a point to become more than just a finesse blocker. He gained 40 lbs. of mostly muscle and has the frame to pack on even more weight.
"I've gained my weight by just lifting a lot and eating big meals with lots of protein. I made it a goal though not to gain sloppy weight, I wanted to add more muscle. I pretty much go workout, take a nap and workout again three hours later."
In hopes of getting up to 270 before the season starts, Soto has worked diligently this summer to add more muscle and he's already seen benefits of his increased weight already.
"This spring game I was a bit heavier and it helped me hold off blitzes. I've actually kept all my speed, which is surprising."
With this newfound size, Soto is expected to garner more attention this season. Don't worry though UCF fans, Soto seems extremely happy with his decision.
"I started getting a lot more attention right after I committed, but I'm telling other coaches to respect my decision. I'm still going to listen because you always want to have options if for any reason I get hurt or something, but at the same time my decision is final."
Along with academics and a beautiful campus that wasn't too far away from home, Soto also said that the team's coaching staff was a big reason for his choice to become a Knight.
"Coach O'Leary is a great guy. So is Coach Key and Coach Kelly, the whole staff actually is great. Under their supervision I can see myself getting a lot better."
Campus Visit Sealed Deal for Soto
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