With the Baltimore Ravens headed to Super Bowl XLVII, much has been made in Delaware of the two former University of Delaware players who will suit up against the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday night. For good reason, starting quarterback Joe Flacco and backup center Gino Gradkowski will attract much of the media attention, but a Ravens staffer with First State roots has had a key role in molding the American Football Conference champions.
Salesianum School graduate Joe Hortiz, the Ravens director of college scouting, is in his 15th year with the organization. He is responsible for coordinating a network of scouts, managing the draft preparation and ranking hundreds of prospects. In addition, he travels the country watching as much college football as he can.
Hortiz worked in accounting with the Ravens when they won their first Super Bowl 12 years ago against the New York Giants.
The 1993 Sallies grad could not be reached for comment.
Hortiz was born in Philadelphia, moved to Delaware at a young age and grew up in Middletown, where his parents still live. He attended Caravel Academy as a freshman but transferred to Salesianum the next year. Ironically, he played baseball in high school, not football.
As an undergraduate at Auburn University, he struck up a relationship with Terry Bowden, then the football coach, which led to Hortiz joining the Tigers’ staff while still a student. He returned to Middletown after his 1998 graduation and soon landed with the Ravens, doing scouting work and various other functions, such as picking up people at the airport. That led to the accounting position and eventually a foray into scouting.
He hopes to add his second Super Bowl ring on Sunday night.