ASU Recruit Lee Burghghef

Following in the footsteps of a star player is a daunting task. This rings even more true if the player doing the honors is a freshman. But to freshman tight end Lee Burghghef it didn't matter if All-American tight end Todd Heap was going to stay for his senior season or opt to the NFL draft.

"One reason I wanted to come to ASU was Todd Heap. I didn't care if he was declaring early for the NFL draft (which Heap did) or if he stayed for his senior year. If he stayed, I would redshirt and learn from one of the best tight ends. If he left for the NFL, that would mean more playing time for me, since we have only two tight ends on scholarship." Now that Heap turned pro (drafted in the 1st round by the super bowl champions Baltimore Ravens), the freshman's goal is clear. "I'm not expecting to redshirt, but I know I have to work harder than I ever did so I won't redshirt and be able to contribute right away to the team."

It's probably no coincidence that Burghghef's high school (Norco in Corona, CA) was visited by former ASU coach Bruce Snyder, since the head coach there is Steve Campbell's (ex-Sun Devils quarterback) father. Nevertheless, they were other schools that were after the services of the ASU freshman: "Most of the Pac-10 schools were recruiting me. I verbaled early to coach Snyder. When the other schools heard I verbaled, they backed of recruiting me." The transition at ASU's head coach position did plant some seeds of doubt, and the once early commitment was exploring his options: "When coach Koetter came to ASU he said he would honor all the verbals under coach Snyder. But I didn't know coach Kotter and his staff. When the coaches changed at ASU, I decided to take some visits with schools that had recruited me. I took trips to Oregon State and Washington. I wanted to see what they had. Then I took the visit to ASU. When I visited here, I wanted to see what the coaches were all about, and how the ran their offense. I was sold on ASU right after the visit. I liked everything I saw. I liked Tempe, and the coaches. Tempe is a great city, and it's not too far from home. My parents plan to come to all the home games, as well as to our games in California, so it's nice that they'll see most of my games."

The tight end players are usually classified as good receivers or good blockers (which sometimes means less than average receivers), but Burghghef believes he posses a good balance between both skills: "I think I'm just as good a receiver, as I am a blocker. In my high schools offense we didn't throw much to the tight end, but when they did I did a good job receiving. It's hard for me to say what my strengths and weaknesses are, because I never played on the college level. I know I can improve all around." Like the rest of the Football team, the freshman tight end is busy working out at his high school, following to the program that strength coach Joe Kenn has sent to him. He plans to come to the valley in mid-July to workout with his new teammates. "I'm excited to come to ASU, get ready to play and show what I have. I'm anxious to meet the other guys on the team."

Lee Burghghef was a coveted recruit well before Heap went to the NFL, and his importance to the team has considerably appreciated in light of Heap's decision to turn pro. Suffice to say that the tight end tends to see the incredible possibilities for him at his position, rather than the concern that some fans may have. Burghghef's attitude is one of confidence, as well a strong inner motivation that he will have to work harder than ever before to secure a starting role on the Sun Devils offense. Lee Burghghef doesn't expect to redshirt, and with his talent and mentality maybe us ASU fans shouldn't expect that either.

Recruit Profile

Name: Lee Burghgref

High School: Norco HS (Norco, CA)

Position: Tight End

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 240lbs

Date of Birth: 5/3/82

Hometown: Fontana, CA

Nickname: "The Bird"

Favorite TV Show: SportsCenter

Favorite Movie: The Patriot

Favorite Singer: Led Zeppelin

Favorite Food: Steak

Favorite Drink: Gatorade

Favorite Athlete: Mike Piazza

Favorite Pro Team: Minnesota Tiberwolves (I'm a big Kevin Garnett fan)

Person you most admire: My Parents. They raised me to who I am today.

First Football Memory: Hell week during my freshman year at high school ("I didn't play Football before high school). I remember just being out with the guys, and playing football for the first time.

One Thing most people don't know about me: I'm a nice guy even though I have intimidating size

Why did you choose ASU? I Like Tempe and the coaches. The coaches are cool guys, and are easy to get along with.

Where do you want to be in ten years? Playing in the NFL or working in the Finance field

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