A&M on Espinosa's List

One of the top 2010 interior linemen in the lone star state resides in the Central Texas town of Cedar Park, just a few miles and a commute away from the state's capitol of Austin. At 6-foot-3, 280 pounds, Dominic Espinosa is attracting interest and scholarship offers from college coaches across the country.

"I have written offers from LSU, Baylor, Texas A&M, Houston, SMU, Stanford, and Tennessee," Espinosa said. "I'm hearing a lot from Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA, Missouri, and Auburn."

One team that is conspicuously missing from that list is the Texas Longhorns just a few miles south of Cedar Park. With only a few spots for offensive linemen in the 2010 class, the Longhorns have been very frugal with handing out scholarship offers early in the recruiting process.

"Really, I haven't heard much from them lately," Espinosa said. "I get a few letters, but it's standard stuff you get in the mail."

That's just fine with the teams hotly pursuing the Central Texas blue chip prospect. Coaches are attracted to his quick footwork, tenacity, and his versatility in both drive blocking and pass protection. According to Espinosa, while the Cedar Park offense runs the ball at a 70/30 clip, the staff has developed his pass protection skills which make him a well-rounded prospect that colleges covet.

"I feel I'm pretty quick with my feet and coaches have told me that," Espinosa said. "They like the way I finish my blocks and overall they like that I'm pretty good at both run blocking and pass protection."

Espinosa hopes to increase his lower body strength and he is working hard in this offseason to improve his explosion off the ball. He currently works out three times a day which includes his track work in the afternoon. When not working out, Espinosa is using his free time to research colleges and taking junior day visits. He's already taken two trips to Texas A&M along with a visit to LSU, and he's heading up to Waco this weekend to see Baylor.

"I've been to A&M twice, once for their very first junior day and then I stopped by on the way to LSU (January 30). I've been there several times before, and I really like it there. The traditions and academics are what really stand out," Espinosa said. "The people are really loyal to their school. It means something to be an Aggie."

As far as the Texas A&M football program, Espinosa was impressed by the facilities but it's the A&M coaches that seemed to have a more lasting effect on the offensive lineman's thoughts on Texas A&M.

"Coach Turner (OL coach) is a cool guy. He's a military guy and his mind works a little different. He's very funny," Espinosa said. "I got to talk with Coach Sherman on my second visit and I like that his roots are in coaching offensive linemen. He said I was what they are looking for at center. Coming from him with his background, it meant something."

Espinosa was equally impressed with his trip to Baton Rouge and the Tiger staff apparently rolled out the red carpet for the Cedar Park product.

"LSU was great. I had never been there before. The facilities were awesome," Espinosa said. "Coach Wells stayed with me most of the time and that showed me how important I was to him and the staff."

Next up for Espinosa is a junior day visit to Baylor which is his last scheduled unofficial visit at the moment. He indicated that he'd like to make it up to see Oklahoma, possibly for their spring game but those plans have not been finalized. At this point, he does not have a leader but hopes to narrow his list in the near future.

"I really haven't thought about leaders for now," Espinosa said. "I'll probably narrow my list down to a few schools in the next 4-5 weeks and then hopefully if I know what I want to do I'll make a decision after the spring."

Espinosa mentioned that academics will be his first priority in evaluating schools, followed by football tradition, the coaching staff, and location.

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