Dalton Botts is unsigned but unbowed.
The 2008 Taft High grad, who finished his collegiate football career as the punter for the Miami Hurricanes, still has his eyes focused on the National Football League.
He didn’t get selected in last month’s annual NFL draft. Only one punter did – Jeff Locke of UCLA in the fifth round, the 155th overall pick.
Even two-time Ray Guy Award winner Ryan Allen of Louisiana Tech didn’t get picked.
Botts was contacted by a number of NFL teams who wanted to know how to get hold of him during the draft and what airport he’d be flying out of.
After none him he was invited to four-day mini-camps held by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints.
Botts said he performed exceptionally well at both camps – especially the one in New Orleans.
Representatives of both teams said they were impressed and encouraged him to stay in training.
“After the Saints camp they called him in and said they couldn’t have two punters on their roster,” his mother, Andrea Botts, said. “But they told him: ‘stay in shape; someone is going to pick you up.’”
She said Dalton plans to remain in Coral Gables until the end of the month and return to Taft for a short time.
“He can still live in his campus apartment and use the university training facilities until then,” she said.
After getting reacquainted with family and friends for a while, Dalton plans to travel to Colorado and work for a while as a welder’s helper for his uncle, Bobby Conners.
“That will give him some time to get his resumes sent out,” mom said.
Botts earned his bachelor’s degree in criminology, so he will be looking for work in that field – but still training and waiting for a call from the NFL.