With trips remaining to a pair of Pac 10 schools, we thought the recruitment for Brea Olinda (Calif.) tight end Tommy Gallarda would go down to the wire. It conceivably still could, but the athlete has canceled his remaining visits and is down to two schools.
Gallarda, 6-5, 220 pounds had a big season on both sides of the ball this past season. The athlete played more of a receiver role for Brea and also starred as a linebacker/defensive end on the defensive side of the ball. Gallarda earned all-league and all-Orange County honors despite missing part of the season with mononucleosis.
"I lost about 20 pounds during the year because of it," Gallarda said. "I worked really hard in the off-season too and had put on a lot of size. I still did all right but it definitely affected me."
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Gallarda caught 48 balls for 808 yards and 11 touchdowns on offense to go with 41 tackles and two sacks on defense. He was being recruited by several schools for defense but his desire to want to play on the offensive side of the ball caused him to scratch a few schools.
"UCLA, Stanford and Fresno State all liked me for defense," Gallarda said. "Those are great schools but I prefer offense and that's what I wanted to play in college. So I just focused on the schools that are recruiting me for tight end."
Gallarda took official visits to Colorado and Boise State and was scheduled to visit Cal this past weekend with Washington State this coming weekend.
"I was going to take those two visits but the more I thought about it, I just realized that Boise State and Colorado were the best fit for me. I'm more of a pass catching tight end and Cal uses a more traditional style of tight end that stays in to block a lot and that's just not me. With Washington State, I just wasn't as comfortable with the coaches as I was other places and didn't know how I would fit in there because Pullman is kind of a small town.
"Those are all great schools and I was grateful to be recruited by them but when I looked at everything, I just decided to narrow my list and ironically, it came down to Boise State and Colorado. When I tripped to Boise State, Dan Hawkins was the head coach there and now he's at Colorado so it's kind of funny how it all played out.
"Both of these schools are just great schools and I really like how they use the tight end in the offense. They spread the tight end out wide and line him up all over the place. I loved the offense at Boise State and with Coach Peterson taking over there, since he was the OC, they're going to keep the same offense.
"Coach Hawkins told me they're going to run the same offense that they ran at Boise State and I've already met with the new offensive coordinator, Mark Helfrich, who came over from Arizona State. I love the way ASU uses the tight end and Coach Helfrich said they're going incorporate a lot of what they did at ASU and combine it with what Coach Hawkins did at Boise State.
"I've had a couple of home visits with Boise State already and Coach Hawkins is coming in next week. Once I talk to him and learn a little more about the new staff at Colorado, I should be able to make my decision. It's going to be tough because I like both a lot but I'm just relieved to have it down to two and will be even more relieved once I get this over with."