After taking his official visit to SMU, San Diego Mesa offensive lineman Silvano Altamirano decided to pull the trigger and committed late Sunday night.
"I verbally committed when I got back home late night. I called Coach (Derrick) Odum and told him, and he was excited. I am too," Altamirano said. "I talked to my family and they supported my decision. My dad always wanted me to choose the best school for me. It's going to take a lot for me to change my mind now."
The JUCO star also held an offer from Washington State but is now planning to cancel his official visit to the Pac-12 school. Altamirano credits the SMU coaching staff as big reason for his commitment.
"Coach Odum was checking on me throughout the visit and was asking me how I liked the school," Altamirano said. "We had been talking about issues with some of my classes but we finally got that resolved.
"I liked Coach (June) Jones. He seemed really chill and laid back. He said he really likes my footwork and said that I could get in and play right away. That really caught my attention. I feel like I can really do a lot to help him and this program."
SMU is recruiting Altamirano as an offensive tackles. But the 6-foot-3, 290-pounder played guard this season for San Diego Mesa and feels more comfortable as an interior offensive lineman. Still, Altamirano is confident he can make the transition.
"Coach Jones told me they really like me at tackle. I talked to my offensive line coach about it and he likes my flexibility, but I'm used to playing guard," he said. "I do feel like I can hold my own there and be good player in a passing offense."
Altamirano also received some tips from his player host and freshman offensive lineman Christian Chamagua, who explained what it was like playing for SMU offensive line coach Bob Palcic.
"I asked him a lot of questions about how he liked the school and coaching staff. He was really honest and told me that he fell in love with SMU," Altamirano said. "He said he really liked the entire coaching staff. He said Coach Palcic can get on you, but he's also laid back. I think I'll like playing for the SMU coaches."
Overall, Altammirano said he truly enjoyed his time on the Hilltop. He has also canceled his trip to New Mexico but has scheduled a visit to Maryland, which he will take in a couple of weeks.
"It's going to come down to SMU and Maryland, but I've pretty much made my decision," he said. "I just really liked everything about SMU. I liked the facilities, the players, the coaches and everything. Before my visit the biggest question I had is how I would fit in, and now I feel like I will be a really good fit."
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