History Buff?

Justin Solis picked up a book about World War II when he was younger and has been fascinated by history since. It's what he plans to study in college and finding a good history program will be equally important to the big defensive tackle as finding the right fit in football. Get inside for more.

Colorado is rebuilding in football under a new coaching staff, but boasts one of the most robust history departments and programs in the west. Justin Solis will visit Boulder for the April 9 spring game and have a chance to investigate the school and both programs more thoroughly.

"Looking at the school, there is a new coaching staff and I know last season they didn't do that well, but they have a new coaching staff now and a new start," Solis said. "The location is perfect for me because, to be honest, I can't do hot weather. So that type of climate would be perfect for me to live in. And it's close to family out here in California and close to my support base."

It also helps that Colorado is now going to be in the Pac-12 and will play on the West Coast three or four times a year.

"We'll be in California quite a few times," he said.

Solis' former teammate Nelson Spruce, a wide receiver, signed with Colorado in February and will be a true freshman in the fall. So Solis would have at least one familiar face in Boulder should he choose to be a Buff.

Solis, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound prospect from Westlake High School in Westlake Village, Calif., said he is hearing from most of the Pac-12 schools in recruiting in addition to Texas A&M from the Big 12 and Nebraska and several other Big Ten programs.

He said there are days where it seems like he talks with 12 different coaches and it's difficult to keep them straight in his head.

"At first, it was like all overwhelming," Solis said. "It was like a lot to handle at one time, but I'm looking forward to the whole process. It should be fun. I'm excited about it."

While he is talking with a lot of programs, Solis still has only two scholarship offers. Colorado coaches were the first to offer him and UCLA followed soon after.

Solis said he talks with Colorado offensive line coach Steve Marshall most often but he recently began communicating with defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo as well.

CU is recruiting him to play either nose tackle or defensive tackle. He plays exclusively on the defensive side of the ball for his high school team.

Colorado isn't the only school Solis plans to visit this spring and summer. He plans to visit Oregon, Washington and Washington State in April as well. He said USC also is recruiting him.

Solis said he already has visited UCLA and USC in the past. He said he has been to USC practices numerous times.

Solis said he hopes to make a decision this summer or early in the fall.

"Right now I'm just focusing on next season," Solis said. "I've been working with trainers (twice a week)and stuff getting ready for next season."

Solis and his teammates will start practice football practices on May 1. There is no hitting and players aren't even issued pads but it provides an opportunity for them to work on technique and other elements of the game.

"I want to improve on my agility and speed," Solis said. "That's what I want to work on most because we're changing up our defense this year. Last year it was more like, hold the line and control the gaps. This year we're doing more, play the run on the way to the quarterback. So I want to get in better shape and get a little bit faster and quicker."

Solis was born in California, but moved to New York (Queens) as a small child. He lived there until his freshman year of high school when he moved back to California. He said his East Coast roots would allow him to consider going to college in that part of the country, but he isn't currently being recruited by any programs that far from home.

Solis said he will be the first in his family to play a sport at the college level.


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