Third in a series of stories profiling top high school football players by position. Today, Raymond Pulido, Apple Valley offensive lineman.
Raymond Pulido is so huge that you wonder if the ground is going to shake with each step he takes on the football field.
At 6 feet 7 and 350 pounds, while wearing size 17 shoes, he towers over many of his teammates at Apple Valley High where he’ll play offensive guard for his senior season.
Last spring, he had transferred to Bellflower St. John Bosco.
“It’s definitely been an adjustment,” he said at the time. “I love it out here. I miss my old school, of course, and old friends, but it’s been amazing meeting new people and learning new things about football.”
The decision to switch schools was an attempt to challenge him at the highest level and prepare him for college football.
He immediately learned the game was much faster trying to block athletes with speed he wasn’t familiar.
“The transition has been a little bumpy, but I’m enjoying the ride,” he said in the spring.
St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro said “without a doubt” Pulido fit the profile of a lineman capable of making an impact.
“He’s a very talented player,” he said. “He has the size, the strength and right mindset. He’s a big dude. I certainly wouldn’t want to have to deal with the grocery bill his family has to deal with.”
Then the decision was made in July to return to Apple Valley after family matters required him to stay in the area.
Wherever he’s living, the grocery bills are out of this world.
Guess which item occupies the most room in the family refrigerator?
“Milk,” Pulido said. “I drink so much milk, I feel sorry for my parents.”
Buying a cow instead of a car might be a smart family decision. He consumes four gallons of milk in a week. He also likes buffets and peanut butter sandwiches. His father, Robert, played football at San Fernando and liked many of the same food choices, including milk.
Pulido remembers being so strong growing up that he once tossed a kid and broke his arm. He had to learn to be gentler off the field. He still offers a hand to help those he knocks down on the field, but he said, “As soon as that whistle blows, I’m hitting somebody.”
He previously played offensive tackle and was learning the guard position at St. John Bosco. Now he’ll play guard at Apple Valley to prepare him for college.
“I love playing guard,” he said. “Pulling and hitting guys is so much fun.”
At Apple Valley, playing on the offensive and defensive lines, Pulido helped lead the team to an 11-4 record last season and a spot in the Southern Section Division 3 final.
Alabama, UCLA, Oregon and Michigan are recruiting him.
“He learned pretty much how to play big, that foot work is important and you don’t open your hips,” his father said of his St. John Bosco experience. “It was a different level of football.”
Offensive linemen to watch
Name, School, Ht., Wt., Yr., Comment
Brandon Baker, Mater Dei, 6-5, 285, Jr. Big-time line recruit
Luke Baklenko, Oaks Christian, 6-6, 300, Sr. Stanford commit keeps improving
Nathan Gates, Edison, 6-5, 280, Sr. Big body, big effort every play
Racin Delgatty, St. Francis, 6-4, 305, Sr. All-CIF player with growing strength
Elishah Jackett, El Modena, 6-7, 280, Sr. Washington commit with size, strength and big upside
Sean Na’a, St. John Bosco, 6-4, 275, Sr. Fundamentally sound, great work ethic
Raymond Pulido, Apple Valley, 6-6, 350, Sr. Ready to have dominating season
Tobias Raymond, Ventura, 6-7, 250, Sr. USC commit with improving skills
BJ Tolo, Mater Dei, 6-1, 290, Sr. Has started every game since freshman year
Kahlee Tafai, Leuzinger, 6-5, 310, Sr. Making steady progress to become standout
Tomorrow: Jaden Rattay, L.A. Lincoln receiver.