Chris Bordano was a star linebacker at SMU, before spending time in the NFL with New Orleans and Atlanta. So, it came as no surprise when SMU was the first to offer his nephew, New Braunfels Linebacker John Bordano, a scholarship this spring. But the younger Bordano isn't a lock to follow in his uncle's footsteps to "The Hilltop" in Dallas.
In fact, John is looking at several other options, including Texas A&M, Stanford, Oklahoma, Tulsa, and Rice. He plans on attending camps at SMU, Tulsa, and Rice.
Bordano visited the Rice Campus last weekend and attended the Owls' Junior Day along with over 100 other recruits.
He came away extremely impressed - and told me in a recent follow-up interview that Rice could jump squarely into the mix for his commit if the Owls offered.
Bordano shared some of the positives from his Junior Day experience in our conversation.
"The size of the campus was just perfect. The campus itself is very spacious, but its really picturesque. The Oak trees and and landscaping really make Rice a scenic environment. I think it would be a great place to go to school."
John also liked the "college" system that Rice uses.
"There's really no fraternities or things like that. Rice uses a college system, so everybody is part of something. I think that's really awesome. The enrollment is also small enough so that you can get to know everybody on campus."
The 6-2 215 Bordano would certainly have no problem making friends on the Owl Defense. The budding star was a 1st team pick in District 26-5A after the 2008 season. He was a 2nd team pick on the San Antonio Express News 5A All-Area Team. Bordano also received Honorable Mention All-State honors from the Associated Press for his 94 tackle, 6 sack performance last season.
John also told me he "loved the weight room and the feel of Rice Stadium."
The New Braunfels star is an excellent athlete that has already recorded a 34" vertical jump. He played on the same Unicorns Defense with Oklahoma signee Tom Wort. That fact along with his ideal size and better than average 4.54 second 40 yard dash speed (he also runs the 100 meters in track!) will surely have college recruiters making their way back to New Braunfels when spring practice starts.
One coach in particular won't have a hard time finding the New Braunfels practice field. In fact, he also made acquaintance with John Bordano long ago.
Rice Head Coach David Bailiff got his start in coaching in the small town made famous for its German heritage and bustling summer tourism. Coach Bailiff also led the Texas State Bobcats to a Semi-Finals game in the Division I-AA National Championships. It was while he was Head Coach in San Marcos that he met a 6th grade student from New Braunfels, "interested in getting to this level someday."
That ambitious 6th grader was John Bordano, and the meeting is something the Linebacker still thinks about.
"I met Coach Bailiff when he was coach at Texas State. He made time for me to come visit with him in his office. He was very nice about it, I asked him a bunch of questions about football and told him I wanted to get to this level someday. I thought it was a pretty cool thing that now I'm being recruited by him at Rice. I like Coach Bailiff a lot. He's a good man and a great coach. I think it would be special to play for him."
Bordano is interested in studying Pre-Law and told me an offer from Rice would really be something he'd consider strongly - though he has plans to attend some camps and will also take some visits.
We'll keep you posted on both sides as Rice's recruitment of John continues...