October 16, 2009

Rams in the lead for lineman

The fact California lineman Ben Gottschalk was in Fort Collins this weekend was a bit of a surprise. What the 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive tackle found during his time on the Colorado State campus may be just as surprising. After meeting an offensive line coach he likes and a business school that opened his eyes, the Colorado State Rams now hold a high place in Gottschalk's list of college choices.

"I was really interested in the school before I came," Gottschalk said Tuesday. "(CSU Quarterbacks Coach Daren Wilkinson) Coach Wilkinson had been calling for a while and my dad wanted me to take a visit because he had seen the school too. I really liked the campus and everything about it. I know the coaches wanted me to commit pretty badly, but I am still waiting. I am not sure what I am waiting for. I am not sure if I should commit, when I should I commit."

Gottschalk flew into Colorado from Sherman Oaks, Calif on Saturday morning, got the campus tour and a drive through town, which he says impressed him. While his time at Hughes Stadium Saturday night was cold, Gottschalk said it wasn't bad enough for him to write the Rams off this list.

"I've been to Colorado a couple times before, but if about 15 or 20 degrees there is the worst it gets, then I can live with that," he said.

Sunday was another tour of campus, some time with academic counselors and a tour of the new athletic facilities before leaving for California.

"It felt different, but it also felt like home," Gottschalk said of his visit to Fort Collins.. "It was cool and weird how that worked out. It is a place I could see myself living for the next four or maybe five years."

The future for Gottschalk will include a Business major in college, which also allowed Colorado State the opportunity to impress, as did Gottschalk's meeting with CSU offensive line coach Pat Meyer.

"Coach Meyer seems like a really cool guy and somebody I could get along with," Gottschalk said. "He is one of the position coaches I have met that I feel has a big personality and I could get along with for the next four or five years."

Gottschalk currently holds scholarship offers from Colorado State, San Diego State, Iowa State, New Mexico State, Nevada and UNLV. He has taken unofficial visits to Washington, USC and San Diego State, but has no more official visits planned at this time.

"When something comes up, or some other school decides to offer I'll make a decision then. Maybe closer to December," he said about any other official visits.

For now, Gottschalk is content to play out his high school football season at Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame High, which is 4-1. However, the Rams have made an impression.

"Right now, definitely Colorado State is the leader," Gottschalk said when asked to name a top five. "To be honest, if I had to make a decision I would go with Colorado State. As far as other schools I am interested in, it would be all six that have offered me."

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