Fresno City College offensive lineman Kyle Horton doesn’t budge, admitting he can be a bit of a nerd.
That started in elementary school, when classmates would tease him “because I was fat and I was playing video games, wore glasses and I got made fun of a lot.”
The teasing stopped before he arrived at Hoover High and isn’t likely to resume.
Horton is 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, no longer getting picked on even if he still can be found occasionally playing computer games such as “Warcraft” and “Call of Duty.”
He saves the serious side for the field.
“I was majorly into that stuff,” said Horton, whose Rams open Sept. 3 at Sierra College in Rocklin. “I’m a smart kid and I always got my homework done. I was homework-video games all the time.
“I’m a whole different person on the field. On the field, you’ve got to be more physical and have to be mean. You can’t be friends with the guy across from you because they’re trying to stop you. Can’t let them stop you like that.”
That mentality developed as he progressed in school.
I’m always a happy guy … always smiling about something.
Fresno City College offensive lineman Kyle Horton
“I wanted to do something to get bigger, stronger and I started playing football,” he said. “I played basketball my seventh-grade year. Eighth-grade year I played football and discovered I was pretty good at it. I didn’t have opportunities to go places, but I’m always a happy guy … always smiling about something.”
Rams coach Tony Caviglia likes the redshirt freshman’s persistence and sees signs that Horton is becoming an all-around athlete.
“He’s scratching the surface of his ability,” Caviglia said. “He’s so tall, long, strong and smart. Everything he does is new. Every day he just gets a little bit better. I just think the best football is ahead of him. He’s going to achieve in life.”
Four-year schools are taking notice, with Colorado and San Diego State targeting Horton.
Rams offensive line coach Joe Schey has been impressed since spring and figures Horton will keep getting better.
Kyle is establishing himself as a vocal leader.
Fresno City offensive line coach Joe Schey
“Kyle is a great young man that works very hard both on and off the field,” Schey said. “Kyle is establishing himself as a vocal leader within the O-line and offense. I expect Kyle to continue working hard to learn the techniques and fundamentals of his position. Due to his size and athleticism, he is a multirole guy within the offensive line. He can play tackle or guard on either side of the line, which makes him an invaluable member of my group.”
Horton wants to be someone others look up to, like he did with former Rams lineman Darian Warford, who is now at Black Hills State in Spearfish, S.D.
“I feel life is too short to be mad,” he said. “Try to be happy and make the best situation. I’m going to do my best to keep a positive attitude. Just push through it.”
Wall of Fame is Sunday – Fresno City’s Wall of Fame induction ceremony is Sunday at Pardini’s.
Set to join the Wall: linebacker Zac Diles (2003-04), defensive back LaVance Ray (2000-01), quarterback Kyle Biggs (2000), linebacker Marquell Stinson (2001-02), tight end Derek Hubbard (1993-94) and cornerstone Frances Lippman (admissions and records manager).
The 27th annual event begins at 5 p.m. with a no-host hour.
For an invitation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fresno City College key football dates
- Aug. 28: Wall of Fame ceremony at Pardini’s, 5 p.m.
- Sept. 3: Season opener at Sierra, 2 p.m.
Fresno City football schedule
3 at Sierra, 2 p.m.
10 vs. Santa Rosa, 5 p.m.
17 at San Mateo, 2 p.m.
24 vs. American River, 6 p.m.
1 vs. Reedley, 6 p.m.
15 at Chabot*, 6 p.m.
22 vs. Modesto*, 1 p.m.
28 at Laney*, 6 p.m.
5 vs. San Joaquin Delta*, 1 p.m.
12 at COS*, 1 p.m.
*Central Valley Conference game