When LSU special teams coach Joe Robinson dialed up Dalton Botts a few months back, the Taft Union (Calif.) graduate – then finishing up his first season at Bakersfield College – wasn’t certain if he should even take the call.
“When coach Joe Rob said he was with LSU, I figured that someone might have been messing with me,” laughed Botts. “I figured out pretty quickly that he was serious. He had heard about how well I had done and wanted to see my film. That was the first time I had ever even heard anything from LSU.”
Botts, a longtime quarterback, finished his final year at Taft Union in style: a 12-1 record and Valley Championship.
“I got myself a ring, and that was probably one of my top sports moments,” Botts said. “I had almost 1,000 yards passing, too. The downside was that we weren’t a big passing team, so I would probably throw 10 times a game. But I finished with over 800 yards rushing, and that’s where I could really help out. I fit in with that side of an offense.”
Upon graduation Botts enrolled at California’s Bakersfield College. When the offense appeared headed for a direction that he wasn’t on board with, Botts began searching for a school that needed a quarterback. The added bonus for that team was that the rising sophomore was also quickly becoming one of the nation’s elite punters.
“I had started to punt during the last year, and I quickly became pretty good,” Botts said. “I was hitting it over 40 yards and getting a hangtime of 4.7. They brought me into the Chris Sailer Top 12 camp, and I also went a couple of other places. I kind of put myself on the map after that.”
Coupled with their positive vibes after viewing the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder’s film, the Tiger staff pressed harder.
“I started calling up coach Joe Rob each week,” Botts said. “They seemed very interested. When they invited me for a visit, I went ahead and set everything up to travel out their on my own money. At that point they told me that they wouldn’t ask me to fly all the way out to Baton Rouge if their wasn’t a scholarship waiting on me.
“Then, at the last minute, they let me know that it was able to be changed to an official visit. Either way, I figured that if things went well I would commit.”
Botts arrived in Baton Rouge last Friday, where he spent the night and used the following day to tour the campus and meet the coaching staff.
“I really liked everything about it except for the humidity,” Botts said. “The facilities were nice and the coaches were very down to earth. They were all big fans. I knew after that day that it was the right fit. There was no reason for me not to commit to coach Miles, so I did. It's a decision that me and my family are really happy about.”
Botts plans to enroll at LSU next summer.