Zack Golditch has rewritten all sorts of records at Gateway High School and he’ll blaze a trail for the school at Colorado State.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound offensive tackle preparing for his senior year — and already the owner of nearly every major weight lifting standard kept at the school — gave his verbal commitment to play football at CSU on Sunday, turning down opportunities at Colorado, Air Force, Northern Colorado and Wyoming.
Since he was young, Golditch — who is never short on confidence — believed he would play college football and he’s looking forward to heading up to Fort Collins, where he’ll be possibly the first football signee with CSU in school history. Golditch indicated he’d still listen to other schools up to official signing day in February, but seems set on CSU.
“I always knew I would be able to play football at the next level, but I never saw myself going to CSU growing up,” Golditch said. “I hadn’t really done my homework on them, but they came in late and starting talking to me. They were the ones that put in the work and really made me feel wanted.
“I know it’s not the best program out there right now (3-9 last season), but they are committed to success and they are saying they are going to be good. They want to make better people and better athletes, so I like their commitment to getting better. I also like the town and the people I’ll be going there with.”
Golditch — who became Gateway’s first state champion thrower when he won the discus on May 17 at the Class 5A state track meet — joins a program that is clearly trying to address needs on the offensive line, especially in state, as Bear Creek’s Jake Bennett and Douglas County’s Blake Nowland have also committed to CSU’s future offensive front.
Other Colorado prep commitments received by the Rams so far are Grand Junction defensive end Austin Berk and Roaring Fork tight end Trae Moxley as new coach Jim McElwein seems intent on an in-state focus.
From his dealings with Colorado State offensive line coach Derek Frazier and others on McElwein’s staff, Gateway head coach Justin Hoffman — who heard from CSU and then-coach Earle Bruce when he was a player at Aurora Central in the 1980s — is impressed with what’s coming out of Fort Collins these days.
“From the first time coach Frazer came down it was like ‘hey, we’re going to be inside the schools and we want to want to make sure you guys know who we are,'” Hoffman said. “Talking with other coaches around, they are also pretty impressed with CSU’s staff and the efforts they are going to.”
Golditch joins a solid line of Gateway Division I football commitments in the last decade-plus, the most high-profile being linebacker Zach Latimer, who went to Oklahoma in 2001. Other Olys to sign DI in the 2000s: Greg Bolling (Wyoming), Eric Brown, Derek Gainey and Jason McMullin (Northern Colorado), Chris Page (Temple) and Dewey Crayton and Sam Hardy (Weber State).
Now the program has a future presence at Colorado State, which has three former Aurora prep players on the roster going into the 2012 season: Linebackers Davis Burl (Grandview) and Golden Ekeanyanwu (Smoky Hill) and quarterback M.J. McPeek (Rangeview).
“This is a first for us, so it’s kindof exciting,” Hoffman said. “I’ll have to become a Rams fan now.”
Golditch has already participated in a football camp at the University of Oklahoma and he has several more for football and throwing on deck for the summer, plus massive amounts of work in the weight room — where he has a tireless work ethic — and Gateway’s hopeful defense of the championship it won at the annual Hog Wars linemen strength competition.
Golditch is also looking forward to what his team can accomplish on the field in the fall, coming off a season in which the Olys gave eventual state runner-up Lakewood all it wanted in the first round of the 5A playoffs before falling.
“I think Gateway is going to make a big impression this year; it’s going to be a program people are going to want to come play football for,” Golditch said.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-750-7555