San Mateo LB prospect is one to watch

After weighing just 200 pounds last fall, San Mateo LB Justin Sagote (6-1, 225) has bulked up and is ready to show the college football world what he can do this fall. spoke to the talented defender recently and he updated us on things including what makes him so good at what he does best -- tackling...

Sagote prepped at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California and was unable to qualify for a D-1 scholarship, so schools held off in recruiting him.

"I wanted to keep playing, so I was looking around and I had a friend who suggested I look at San Mateo because of the program," Sagote told recently. "I talked to the coaches and it just felt right. Coach (Tim Tullock) told me about the program and how they run it and I looked at how successful they've been and I knew it was the right place for me."

In the Bulldogs' aggressive 3-4 scheme, Sagote played both inside and outside depending on which team they were playing.

"I played the strong inside linebacker or the weak outside linebacker, depending on who we were playing that week," Sagote noted. "I feel comfortable playing either one, but I think I will probably end up playing inside at the next level."

As a freshman this past seaso, Sagote put up solid numbers -- 45 tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-loss, three sacks and one fumble recovery -- and attributed that to his insticts.

"I'm an instinctual player," Sagote said. "I feel like I can diagnose a play quickly and then get there fast and when I do, I don't miss a tackle."

Recruiting thus far has been pretty quiet although he has heard of one D-1 school already showing some interest.

"The coaches told me Nevada called about me, but that's it right now," Sagote said. "I don't know if any other schools are interested, but I guess with a good spring I can show them what I can do.

"When I showed up here I was only 200 pounds and I played right about that last year. This year I'm already at 225 after hitting the weight room pretty steady and I'm eating right so I'm bigger and stronger and I should be able to make more plays this fall."

Sagote is on pace to graduate next May and he will have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

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