Public invited to see him sign letter of intent to punt for the Hurricanes
Taft High grad Dalton Botts plans to sign a letter of intent next Wednesday to play football at high profile University of Miami, and the community is invited to take part.
A signing ceremony will be held at Westside Believers Fellowship Church at the corner of Main Street and Taft Highway beginning at 9 a.m.
Botts, who quarterbacked the Wildcats to a Division IV section championship in 2007, was recruited to be the Hurricanes’ punter next season.
He had originally committed to LSU, but his scholarship offer was withdrawn – one of two the university had to pull as punishment for violating NCAA rules. The infraction did not involve Botts.
Miami and Texas A & M came calling, and after getting a visit from a Hurricane coach, Botts committed.
He was also heavily recruited by USC but declined the offer because of sanctions imposed on the Trojans’ football program as a result of the Reggie Bush scandal.
Losing out on the LSU offer turned out to be a blessing.
“I’m really excited about going to Miami,” Botts said.
He, along with his parents and younger brother Dylan, visited the Coral Gables campus last weekend.
“It was incredible,” he said.
Parents Travis and Andrea were impressed too, so much that they said they didn’t mind having to fly across the country to see their son play big time college football.
“The university is unbelievable,” Travis Botts said. “There is such a family atmosphere, and the academics are outstanding. It’s not one of those sprawling universities. It has just 10,000 students.”
Mom was particularly impressed with the emphasis on, academics.
“We got to meet the president of the university, and she said that all the players are fast-tracked – that they expect them to finish their degree requirements in three and a half years,” she said. “The average class size is 11. She said there is only one class that has more than 30 enrolled, and that one is her (political science) class. It has 500.”
Miami’s president is a familiar name.
She is Donna Shalala, who served as Secretary of Health and Human Services for the eight years of the Clinton administration.
Shalala met with the families of the 15 football recruits that made official visits last weekend.
“She took the time to personally meet every player and every parent,” Travis Botts said. “She talked about the family atmosphere they have there. In fact, that was the whole theme, especially from the coaches.”
A private school, Miami is one of the nation’s leading research universities.