Four Rattlers sign letters of intent

(Left to Right) Prudencio Calderon (Rice), Tristan Williams (HSU) Alex Costilla (Tyler JC) and Gabe Urrutia (HSU) at their National Signing Day ceremony. Photo by Donavan Jackson

San Marcos Football: National Signing Day 2018

The auditorium inside San Marcos High School slowly filled up with families, coaches, teachers and friends as the Rattlers gathered to announce where they would be continuing their academic and athletic careers.

San Marcos had four students from the 2018 class sign on National Signing Day. Tristan Williams and Gabe Urrutia signed at Hardin Simmons, Alex Costilla signed with Tyler Junior College and Prudencio Calderon signed with Rice.

“It’s a dream come true,” Urrutia said. “I mean I've been wanting to do this since I was playing CFPO  (youth football). I’m glad to see it finally come to life. The coaching staff, I liked the vibe (at Hardin Simmons). I had only met them and it felt like home.”

Williams added that he’s excited for the opportunity to be playing and attending school opposite of one of his best friends. Both Hardin Simmons signees had interests from other schools but were set on becoming Cowboys following a visit to Abilene.

“Tristan is a unique kid,” said Mark Soto, San Marcos' athletic director and head football coach. “He started off his career for us and I don’t know how much into football he was. But as he got older and more mature he got into it more. He’s also in choir, he has a lot going on. So to see him be successful in a lot of different areas is special.”

Another unique story and tribute to the resilient culture San Marcos has established is Costilla’s decision to move onto the next level of football. The senior lineman was unable to compete for a majority of his senior year due to a season-ending knee injury. Costilla had doubts of pursuing a collegiate career but fought through the adversity with support from family, friends and his coaches.

“(Going through the injury) was hard, it was hard,” Costilla said. “I took my time, got back with the coaches and started working again. (The support) helped me a lot. I never thought I’d be in this situation with my knee but this decision is what was best for me.”

One of the most decorated and pursued recruits in District 14-6A was Calderon. The District MVP was receiving attention from schools around the nation but ultimately chose to stay close to home and continue playing football for the Owls.

Soto mentioned some may scratch their head in reference to the quarterback’s flip from Yale to Rice. But the support system of his family and friends being much closer makes Houston the perfect landing spot for Calderon.

“(Signing) is relieving,” Calderon said. “Having all the offers is cool to say but you have to choose a school and I feel like the one I chose is the one I’ll be happy with. All of it was a blessing so I’m just thankful for that. I feel like Rice is where I will best fit and best succeed.”

All excitement aside, assistant head coach Gerald Rodriguez said the things these four recruits had in common was their character. Rodriguez made it a point for the underclassmen in attendance to realize how big of a role character played in the seniors' success. He also mentioned how all the seniors performed well in the classroom. They all maintained at least a 3.0 GPA.

“There’s starting to be a tradition here (in San Marcos),” Soto said. “I think it’s important for the kids to understand they need to do the same or better. So that’s why all those kids were in here and that’s why they’re running over to boot camp right now. They needed to see what happens when you work your tail off, when you work hard. I think that’s the most important thing.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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