Dan Kottman, a former Guyer standout defensive tackle who spend two seasons at San Diego State, confirmed late Thursday night that he is planning to enroll at UNT in the next few days and will likely participate in spring practice.
Kottman was a first-team all-state selection at Guyer. He played his freshman season at San Diego State before redshirting this past season, when he dealt with shoulder problems that required two surgeries.
Kottman could have up to three years of eligibility remaining with UNT.
He will begin his career at UNT as a walk-on. Kottman also considered continuing his career at Texas State and Rice.
Kottman played his freshman season at San Diego State before injuries forced him to have surgery to have his rotator cuff and labrum repaired. He had a second surgery to clean up scar tissue and other lingering problems.
Kottman left San Diego State after the sixth week of this season.
“I felt it was in my best judgment to switch schools,” Kottman said. “The coaches said that once they see my shoulder is OK I could earn a scholarship as soon as next semester. I am anxious to see.”
Kottman said that he is healthy again now that he has had time to recover from his injury and subsequent surgeries.
Kottman, who is 6-foot-1 and 252 pounds, could help fill the void on UNT’s defensive front. UNT graduated four starters following its win over UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, including tackle Ryan Boutwell, who played the three-technique spot. Kottman projects to play the same position in UNT’s defense, where the Mean Green’s smaller quicker defensive tackles line up.
“I hope to come in and fill that void,” Kottman said. “I am just ready to play again.”
Kottman was officially listed with 10 tackles in the 10 games he played in as a freshman before he ran into health issues last year. Kottman said he decided to leave San Diego State when he felt like the coaches there tried to rush him back before he was ready.
The addition of Kottman would give UNT another option at a position at which it was hit hard by graduation. UNT lost nose tackle Richard Abbe and defensive ends Brandon McCoy and Aaron Bellazin to graduation in addition to Boutwell.
Boutwell had 20 tackles this season. Abbe had 19 while earning honorable mention All-C-USA honors.
Alexander Lincoln, who rotated at the same three technique spot with Boutwell, finished with 16 tackles.
The addition of Kottman would also give UNT another Guyer product on its roster to go along with sophomore John Schilleci, a backup safety.
UNT has tried to open up a pipeline not only to Guyer, but also to Ryan. Both Denton schools are state powers in football.
UNT has built a solid walk-on program under head coach Dan McCarney that has produced several key players. McCoy came to UNT as a walk-on after serving in the U.S. Army.