Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
The Recruiting Guy:
Mental game gives highly touted DB an edge
STAFF PHOTO BEN GOFF @NWABenGoff -- 07/25/14 Randy Shannon, Arkansas linebacker coach, speaks to the media prior to the George Billingsley NWA Razorback Club Celebrity Scramble golf tournament at the Kingsdale Golf Complex in Bella Vista on Friday July 25, 2014.
Safety Antonyo Sotolongo’s physical talent has allowed him to become one the top prospects in south Florida, but he also credits his mental game for much of his success.
“I think what I'm good at and I'm better than anybody else, is reading the quarterback,” said Sotolongo, who has 11 career interceptions. “Being able to tell when he's trying to look me off or when he’s trying to actually go to the receiver. I feel like I'm a really good playmaker on the field. When the ball is in the air, you better believe I’m going to be around that.”
Sotolongo, 6-0, 195, 4.43 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Miami Gulliver Prep reports more than 25 scholarship offers from schools like Arkansas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Duke and Tulane. Video highlights CLICK HERE
A former teammate at Gulliver, Arkansas cornerback Cornelius Floyd has encouraged him to visit Fayetteville. He plans to take an official visit to see the Hogs.
“Arkansas is a good school when it comes to sports,” said Sotolongo, who's being recruited by linebackers coach Randy Shannon. “It’s very lively over there at the games. Their packed crowds are good.”
National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network believes Sotolongo is an elite prospect.
“A hard hitter who closes fast and is excellent in pursuit,” Lemming said. “He earned first-team All Dade County after totaling 74 tackles and four picks and breaking up eight passes. He also returned kickoffs for scores.”
Sotolongo, who’s rated ESPN the No. 57 safety in the nation and the No. 134 prospect in Florida in Florida, is also looking to officially visit West Virginia, Tulane, Wake Forest and Duke.
He’s considering sociology as a major.
“I like finding out what makes someone tick, “ Sotolongo said. “Why they do the things they do? What's their mindset when you're going through things? I like hearing other people stories and find out what they're going through and how I can relate to it.”
Sotolongo returned three interceptions for touchdowns as a junior.
“When I have the ball in my hands, it's off to the races,” Sotolongo said. “It all comes down to that one person. Can you catch me or not? Nine times out of ten, it's not.”