Three-star offensive tackle Arturo “A.J.” Rodriguez (6-5, 300, 5.3) from Las Vegas, Nev., went into the 2004 season rated by Rivals.com as the Silver State of Nevada's second rated prospect as any position. He is living up to his lofty ranking.
Rodriguez and his Las Vegas high teammates just returned from California where they took on Riverside (Calif.) Poly and laid the wood on the home team defeating Poly 39-0 improving their record to a perfect 4-0 record.
Rodriguez currently has seven offers on the table from Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, UNLV, Nevada, Fresno State and most recently New Mexico.
Rodriguez is very open at this time regarding school choice.
Las Vegas high will take on North Las Vegas (Nev.) Cheyenne this Thursday against another talented lineman from Nevada, Perry Eppenger.
Rodriguez was an all-region selection as a junior after recording 40 pancake blocks in 2003. Out of 14 games a year ago, Rodriguez rated out the highest out of the linemen, seven times.
In an earlier interview with Rivals.com Las Vegas coach Chris Faircloth said had this to say about his top-flight offensive lineman, “What separates A.J. from the rest is he has a real mean streak. He plays offense with a defensive linemen’s mentality.”
“A.J. is a great finisher of blocks,” Faircloth said. “He is relentless in finding another opponent once he knocks his first man is down.”
“A.J. is a monster on the line and can’t keep him out of the weight room,” Las Vegas offensive line coach Art Plunkett said. “He could be the best lineman we have had in my eight years as an assistant coach here.”
High praise indeed, the reason Plunkett’s statement is so powerful is that his own son Richie Plunkett was an all-state and all-region offensive tackle a year ago for Las Vegas high. Plunkett’s son signed with the Colorado Rams last February.
Plunkett should know about offensive linemen he played in a super bowl with the New England Patriots. He also played for the Los Angeles Rams and the St. Louis Cardinals after standing out for UNLV.