Mendoza excited with Sun Devil attention

With coveted recruits such as Jordan Payton and Ishmael Adams college programs have been frequenting Oaks Christian High School during the spring evaluation period. While evaluating various players on the Lions' squad the ASU staff had noticed Carlos Mendoza. The Sun Devils moved swiftly and became the linebacker's first offer, a fact that has been very flattering to Mendoza.

The 6-1 220 pound Carlos Mendoza was offered last week by Arizona State's linebackers coach Trent Bray. Needless to say that the rapidness of the whole recruiting process did catch the linebacker by surprise, as he was elated with that news.

"I'm very happy that they offered because that is a great school in the Pac-12," Mendoza said. "It's a blessing to me that I can get offered by a big time school like that. I know a lot about the team and that they are one of the best defenses in the country. The linebackers corps is very strong and I plan to follow them even more this year and learn more about them.

"I haven't been to Arizona State yet but I do plan to take a trip there in the summer. I might go to their camp in June."

Mendoza has been on the varsity team since his sophomore year and started all 14 games at linebacker while splitting time at running back as well. He earned All-League, All-County and All-CIF honors last year.

In 2010 he posted 437 rushing yards (averaging over 5 yards a carry) and eight touchdowns on offense, while collecting 74 total tackles and five sacks on defense. The linebacker reported a 40-yard time of 4.49, as well as weight room marks of 285 lbs. on the power clean and 305 benching. It is that combination of strength and speed that has caught the eye of ASU and Mendoza's other suitors.

"The coaches said I'm a fast and mobile linebacker," Mendoza stated, "and one thing that wide receivers underestimate about me is how well I can cover them. I can play man-to-man, zone coverage and I can break on the ball very fast. I'm quick like a safety but strong like a linebacker.

"Arizona State said that they like me as a linebacker but if I were going to play there and lineup at safety that's fine."

Mendoza said that both USC and UCLA have been showing great interest in recent weeks and he believes that those programs could be following in ASU's footsteps and offering a scholarship as well.

"Both of those (schools') coaches have been telling me how much they are interested in me," Mendoza commented. "I've been to a lot of UCLA's practices and I really enjoyed myself there and I think they are very close to offering me. They have been knocking on my door longer than USC.

"My coaches have been telling me that Washington and Duke have been looking at me a lot. Colorado and Colorado State also have been recruiting me. I really think I will have a couple more offers here pretty soon."

The Westlake Village high school is one of the premier football programs in Southern California and finished with a 12-2 mark last year. The Lions with their wealth of talent are certainly poised for an equally successful 2011 campaign, a fact that should probably increase the linebacker's recruiting exposure.

"I'm sure things will pick up for me," Mendoza claimed. "Coaches have been saying that they like my highlight tape. I'm working very hard on the field and with my school work – it's been a big adjustment coming from Oxnard (Calif.). But I'm up for the challenge and if I take care of that stuff things will be happening for me."

Mendoza remarked that a school's atmosphere, coaches-players relationships, team unity and whether they have a good Kinesiology school will be some of the main factors that will drive his eventual decision.

"I'm not sure yet when I'm going to commit," Mendoza admitted, "but I don't want to commit too early and keep my options open. It's going to be a big decision in my life and I want to sit down and talk to my family about it. I have to take my time and see what place I'm most comfortable with all the aspects of college.

"I'm going to be one of the only people in my family to go to college and I want to make them proud."

To view Mendoza's 2010 highlight tape click here

Sun Devil Source Top Stories