Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One great big sleeper at Butler

It’s tough to miss Rico Arelleno.

The Butler High rising senior offensive tackle is 6-foot-7 and 275 pounds. And if some major programs do miss him, it will likely be for one reason. Until last year, he thought of himself as a basketball player.

“If he had started playing football in the ninth grade, he probably would eventually have ten Division I offers,” said Butler coach Mike Newsome.

Better late than never, though. Arelleno was finally persuaded to try football as a junior, and played on the junior varsity team because of his lack of experience.
But the potential is there, and Newsome would like to see him grab a starting position this fall and hold on.

“He’s got some ability,” Newsome said. “He’s done well in the weight room. But he’s got to gain confidence that he can play.”

That was helped at N.C. State’s recent camp, where Arelleno thought he did well.

He’s fairly athletic for his size, but his lack of experience means that he’s still a bit short in technique. Still, the potential is there.

“He’s what I call a wait-and-see type,” Newsome said. “Because he was a jayvee last year, I don’t even have film to send out on him. He’s more of a project, even for college.

“But if he can play this year, it really helps us.”

--Stan Olson

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