Orth Brothers May Finally be Playing Together

Defensive back James Orth of Catholic Central High School in Modesto, Calif., signed a Letter of Intent in February to play at San Jose State. His older brother, offensive lineman Jacob, now at The College of San Mateo, could be joining him this fall as a walk-on player. Jacob spoke on Sunday with Inside Sparta about the other options available that could keep the Orth's from becoming teammates.

Recruiting is like a game - if one knows the rules and how to play it can be a very rewarding exercise, and winning means obtaining a coveted scholarship to a Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly D-1A) college. As with many endeavors the recruiting process has a learning curve, and it can sometimes be steep. The family of Jacob and James Orth found this out when the older brother - Jacob - was the first to test the waters of recruiting, and the lessons learned help younger brother James land the holy grail. "We didn't know anything about recruiting when I was going through it," Jacob said. "But my dad learned and when James was going through he knew where to send tapes, what camps to attend, everything, and it landed James a scholarship offer last summer to San Jose State."

James Orth signed a Letter of Intent in February and will join the SJSU football team this summer.

Jacob Orth never received an FBS offer, and decided to attend The College of San Mateo. After two seasons with the Bulldogs he is planning on joining his brother this summer at San Jose State. However, it's not yet a done deal. "I've been talking to a couple of schools," he said. "Winston-Salem State in North Carolina called the other day and said they love my tape. My coach also said Middle Tennessee State has been texting him about me and telling him they are looking for offensive linemen."

Winston-Salem State is a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly D-1AA) school, and is a continent away. Still, a scholarship offer is a very tempting draw. "If they offered I'd certainly have to take a visit," he said. "I would really, really have to love it in order for me to change my mind about San Jose State."

SJSU isn't a recent destination choice for Jacob. Not only is James going to be there in the summer, their older brother is a student attending SJSU, though he doesn't play sports. "I wanted to go to SJSU out of high school," Jacob said. "Things just didn't work out and I ended up at San Mateo. I like what (head coach Dick) Tomey has done with the program, and they play a few Pac-10 schools every year."

Jacob would be attending SJSU as a preferred walk-on, meaning he was invited to join the team without a scholarship. Often, a preferred walk-on receives a scholarship at some point in their college careers. Jacob is optimistic of his chances. "I'm pretty sure they only had 18 scholarships to give out this year (2009 recruiting year)," he said. "I know they lose a lot of seniors after this season so I'm pretty sure one will be available for me."

San Jose State now has 71 players on scholarship, according to Inside Sparta's scholarship tracker. There are 22 seniors listed, which would leave 49 players on scholarship. A school may have a total of 85 players on scholarship at a time. The maximum number of scholarships players a school is allowed to sign in any recruiting year is 25. If SJSU signs its maximum allotment of grants, that would mean it would have 74 players on scholarship in 2010, leaving nine scholarships available for preferred walk-ons.

Jacob has played tackle for most of his football career. His freshman year at CSM he played left tackle. Last season he took on a completely new role. "I played center for the first time in my life," he said. "I talked to coach (Steve) Morton and he didn't tell me exactly which position I'll play on the line. It doesn't matter to me, I'm pretty versatile and am comfortable with whatever position they need me to play."

The brothers are three years apart in age, according to Jacob. As such he said their time on the SJSU football team will be the first time they've played on the same squad. Having both kids on the same team will make it very convenient for their parents to watch them play.

Jacob said he plans on majoring in business administration with a focus on international business, and a minor in Spanish. "I am interested in different cultures," he said. "And I like to travel and I'm definitely interested in business."

Right now Jacob works as a bouncer at a local club. "I love it, I'm not a party guy," he said. "So others are out partying and I'm making money."

The 6-foot-2, 295-pound Jacob said right now he will have two years to play two, but has applied for a medical waiver in order to get a third year.

Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta. You may contact Don with any questions, comments, or tips at publisher@insidesparta.com

Better yet, join the rest of the Inside Sparta community in discussions of this article, and more, on the Inside Sparta Discussion Forums!

Inside TheSpartans Top Stories