April 23, 2009

Texas lineman enjoys visit to CSU

steady rain couldn't dampen the spirits of Cypress Ridge High School defensive lineman Robert Scarpati last weekend during his visit to Colorado State. The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder was in attendance for the Rams' abbreviated spring game on Saturday and came away very impressed.

"I thought it was great," Scarpati said of his visit. "I thought their facilities were great, their coaching staff was excellent, their campus was excellent and I know the weather isn't like that all the time because I have been in Denver a lot of other times. I loved it. I really fell in love with Colorado State after this weekend."

A Scarpati said he and his father got into Colorado on Thursday afternoon and stayed with friends in Denver. On Friday he was able to meet with his recruiting coach - defensive line coach Scott Brown - before spending time with an academic advisor. Saturday brought a campus tour before going to the spring scrimmage.

"I like seeing a practice and a scrimmage because you can see how the team plays and how the coaches coach and I was very impressed," Scarpati said.

Right now a scholarship is not being offered to Scarpati, but he is looking forward to putting in the effort needed to change that.

"Right now they are not at a point to offer me right now and I understood that," he said. "They are going to come down to Houston and see me in spring practice next month. I just felt blessed to have the opportunity to come up there. I am just going to go up there and work my butt off in spring practice to earn that scholarship."

Scarpati features a 4.8 time in the 40-yard dash, a 265-pound bench press, a 415-pound squat as well as a 3.2 grade-point average. Last season he was named Second Team All-District as a defensive tackle after collecting 32 stops.

"We live in the land of the spread offense down here in Texas, so it is tough to get a lot of tackles as a defensive lineman," Scarpati offered.

The Houston lineman is still waiting for his first scholarship offer, but is getting a lot of interest from schools in Texas. Living right down the street from Rice University has brought with it a lot of attention from the Owls. While Houston, UTEP and Southern Methodist are talking to him regularly, it is clear Rice has caught his eye.

"I love their coaching staff there," Scarpati said. "They have been open armed to me every time I have been down there. They only have like 12 scholarships this year so they are taking their time and looking at everything very slowly. They aren't in any rush to offer a scholarship right now."

"Rice University is a great opportunity academically," he added. "That is like nothing else really. One thing about a Rice scholarship is you will have a very good job after school."

Scarpati said he grew up a Texas Longhorns fan, but wouldn't mind playing either in or out-of-state. For that matter, he feels confident he will have plenty of opportunities available to him for college football. For ow, it looks like Colorado State is his early favorite.

"Right now it would be Colorado State, Rice, UTEP and U of H," Scarpati said. "There will be a lot more schools to come in after spring practice. There will be a ton of them out there. Right now, it is those four or five and we'll have to see."

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