Eye of the Tiger: Otanez Setting Example At Gilbert

Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing close to 200 pounds Gilbert High School’s two-way star Corvan Otanez’s strength and athleticism grabs your attention immediately.

More importantly, so too does his college transcript. The senior wide receiver/linebacker/strong safety has a 4.4 grade-point-average and serves as the perfect role model for the younger Tigers.

“One of the things we preach here is grades,” head coach Derek Zellner said to Sports360AZ.com. “When college recruiters come, the first things they’re going to ask me is, ‘How are his grades? What’s his GPA?’ We believe that what you do in the classroom, transfers on to the field.”

Corvan Otanez action 2Production in the classroom, as well as on the field, hasn’t been an issue for Ortanez. Defensively, he currently leads the Tigers in interceptions (four), and is second in tackles (91) and tackles per game (10.1). He’s also become a favorite red zone target for talented quarterback and close friend since middle school, Jack Plummer. Of Otanez’s 16 receptions, six have gone for touchdowns.

“He and I have good chemistry,” the Purdue commit Plummer said to Sports360AZ.com. “It’s definitely a good bond.”

Nothing seems to phase Ortanez, including balancing football and the rigors of keeping up his grades. He has offers from Columbia and the University of San Diego, as well as interest from several other Ivy League schools.

“School is easy, you just go to class,” Otanez, who plans to major in engineering, explained to Sports360AZ.com with a grin. “Do your homework. Pay attention in class is the biggest part.”

On the field, the well-spoken Otanez likes to pattern his game after one of the NFL’s most dynamic defensive players.

Cardinals Tyrann Mathieu (32) celebrates a tackle against the Bears during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on August 19, 2017.“I’m a Cardinals’ fan so I watch Tyrann Mathieu a lot,” he said. “I watch the way he plays. Just the mentality in the way he plays. He’s a savage.”

A Badger and a Tiger.

Not a bad match.