Zach Angelillo’s first scholarship offer came from a university that’s just 10 minutes away from his high school.
The Fresno (Calif.) San Joaquin Memorial linebacker was awarded offer No. 1 from nearby Fresno State, making the 6-foot-2, 210-pound incoming senior the latest local prospect to land on the Bulldogs’ recruiting board.
Angelillo tells Scout that talks between him and the ‘Dogs had been brewing for a while, but a recent unofficial visit to the campus helped solidify his first scholarship paper.
“I called Coach Bert Watts after school on Thursday. The conversation started out real easy going – just asking me about my family and what I was thinking about majoring in. Then, kind of out of nowhere, he started telling me how he had showed Coach Jeff Tedford my film and the staff was impressed. They thought I could be a valuable asset to the team. Then he said he'd like to offer me a scholarship…and I felt like it was unreal,” Angelillo said. “We talked about staying in touch and having me out there to see more practices and that was that. I called my parents, my biggest supporters, and told them the good news right after.”
Angelillo visited the campus on April 5, a day before his official offer. He was immediately impressed by the personalities of the assistants Watts, Brian Clay and Spencer Harris, saying “I really liked their energy. I was especially impressed with coach Watts’ passion and involvement with the players.”
On the field, Angelillo totaled 104 tackles, 80 solo stops and seven sacks for the Panthers, who recently produced Fresno State walk-ons Frank Dalena and Chris Paz.
When Angelillo is not in shoulder pads and helmet, he carries a 4.0 grade point average and scored a 1190 on his SAT. He adds that Princeton, Harvard, Penn, Columbia, Brown, Cal Poly, Stanford and San Jose State have shown some interest.