Jonathan Soto, a 6-3 265 pound defensive tackle from Bishop Amat High School, liked everything he set his sights on during the trip.
“I saw the university and saw the town and liked everything I saw,” said Soto. “I liked the hospitality the most. They treated me like family and I was only there for like two and a half days.”
Soto held a high opinion of Kansas heading into the visit, and while he did not give the Jayhawks a commitment while in Lawrence, the weekend trip certainly solidified his appreciation of the KU football program. The brief visit also helped him visualize what it would be like to play football at KU.
“When I was on my visit we saw this highlight film and it just pumped me up. I felt this rush through my body. I could definitely see myself on that film someday. And then we went into the locker room and I tried on a jersey, and I could definitely see myself wearing one of those someday.”
Soto has contemplated wearing the KU colors for quite a while now. The Jayhawks targeted him early in his junior year and as a result have been number one on his list ever since.
“I’d say KU (is my leader),” Soto admitted. “The coaches have been calling for me frequently and they were the first to call me. They’ve offered me (as scholarship) as a junior, so that definitely got me excited and that’s why I keep them at the top of my list.”
“I thought going in that everything was perfect and taking the visit would be icing on the cake,” Soto said of his trip to Lawrence. “Now I feel like the playing in Big 12 and being a Jayhawk is what I want to be. Taking these last visits is just the final steps necessary to make sure.”
Those visits will come over the next month – starting with Fresno State on January 7th, Wyoming on January 14th and Utah on the 21st of next month.
Soto says the Utes are still in the hunt even though Urban Meyer won’t be leading their program next year.
“I thought they’d lost interest in me through the whole transition of losing their head coach. But then their new coach (Kyle Whittingham) called me and explained to me that they’d had a time where things were difficult and that they were still interested in me and that kind of comforted me. He had been recruiting me before (his promotion) so I already knew him.”
Familiarity could also help KU’s chances. Soto took his trip to Lawrence with Bishop Amat High teammate Jose Rodriguez who has already committed to KU and has an older brother, Cesar, that currently plays for the Jayhawks. The chance to play with the Rodriguez brothers could impact Soto’s final decision.
“I believe it will (have an impact), because I want to go where I feel wanted and I definitely feel wanted with the people I know, and have been playing with. We feel like a family so I’m sure that’ll have something to do with my decision.”
That decision could come sometime in January, so check back soon for more on this talented tackle from California.