Generally speaking, kicking specialist don't get scholarships. But Joel Velazquez of Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo, CA got one and pledged to the Broncos tonight.
Listed at 6'1 and 225 lbs, he's an imposing guy as far as kickers go. Our kickers as of late have been around the 5'10" height, so he is quite a bit bigger. And while we still have Lou Groza semi-finalist Tyler Rausa for another year, we still need someone to fill in for him. We have had some good walk-on kickers in the past, Goodale for example, so I don't doubt Blake Gonzalez could fill in just fine, but Velazquez's film is pretty impressive. See for yourself:
Now I don't know who first reported the news, but the first person on my Twitter timeline to mention who the recruit was was Jeremy Rodrigues of Rivals.
"Velazquez has a booming leg that can make the kick return a nonfactor in games" https://t.co/pe37X7svIn— Jeremy Rodrigues (@RivalsJeremy) November 9, 2015
He also linked this article with some great info on Velazquez. Most notably, his coach Joe Silvey states, "...it’s nice to know that (an opponent’s) drives are going to consistently start at the 20." Well that is pretty good if you ask me.
While he doesn't show up on any recruiting sites that I could find, he was offered a preferred walk-on position with Oregon and was hearing from Clemson and Stanford as well.
It kind of came out of the blue (pun intended), but I'm pretty stoked to have another kicker on the roster. Go Broncos!