But here’s a kid… we did our homework on, he started every game for us… and he was just voted All-American by the JC coaches in the state... And I'd say he's more like 5-11, 235.”
Hotchkins, originally out of Tigard, Ore., pledged Wyoming coming out of high school before going the JC route. This past season as a freshman, he led Riverside with 101 tackles, was named first-team all-conference, all-state and the SCFCA Defensive MVP in addition to the All-America designation.
Washington State has had a number of linebackers over the years who didn’t have prototypical height or other measurables, but who went on to become stars – Steve Gleason and Will Derting are but two examples.
Hotchkins’ tape is perhaps most reminiscent of another former Cougar middle linebacker, one who came from the JC ranks as well...
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“I think a lot of times we get caught up in the height, weight and 40 times,” says Kuk. “He’s a product of the Northwest and so many of those kids get overlooked… I know he’s going to blow up.”
Kuk said Hotchkins has seen a flurry of 1-AA offers of late.
“The big ones just don’t know about him yet,” said Kuk. “Everyone is looking at that 5-10 (5-11), and it’s just a matter of getting enough eyes on him.
“He was my defensive captain, the heart and soul of my defense, made all my calls.. He’s got a bright future.”
Hotchkins has previously been reported as a member of the 2015 class but Kuk says he’ll return to Riverside this coming year and be a member of the 2016 class, which would give him 3-to-play-2 starting in 2016.