Winston talks ASU recruitment

Last week was a productive period for Richard Winston. The local Chandler High School defensive lineman was one of the standouts at ASU's maroon and gold camp, a performance which netted him an offer from the Sun Devils a day later. This was followed by an unofficial visit to Arizona State, an experience that did impress Winston.

"It has been a great few days," admitted the 6-4 220 Richard Winston. "Even before the ASU camp I played well in the Big Man Challenge and the 7 on 7 camp we had at ASU. I think I showcased a lot of speed and beat my man a lot on the one-on-ones.

"When I went to the (maroon and gold) camp I just tried to just have a non-stop motor and showcased my speed and strength and again had some good one-on-one drills. I was using multiple moves and showing everything I have."

Winston stated that his unofficial visit to Tempe impressed him for various reasons.

"I had a great time on my visit," Winston said. "Jean Boyd did a great job talking about the academics there and he just seems like one of the best at his job. You can tell how much he has the best interest of the players in mind wanting them to get a degree. I loved the weight room and the (strength and conditioning) coaches. They showed me how they took one defensive end (Jordan McDonald) who came in at 215 lbs. and now he's at 254. That is something I definitely want to be part of.

"I saw a lot of the facilities there before, but my family got to see them on my visit for the first time." In 2010 Winston recorded 20 tackles and 2.5 sacks and played both defensive end and linebacker for the Wolves. It is that versatility that has caught the eye of the Sun Devil coaching staff, particularly defensive line coach Scott Brown.

"Coach Brown also said that I move very well for my size," Winston said. "I'm happy I did well in the camp because I wasn't sure if I was going to attend it. I previously committed to the Washington camp on the same day but because I played well in the Big Man Challenge at ASU I decided to go to the one-day camp too.

"After the camp was done the coaches hinted that I was probably going to get an offer and I obviously got one so I'm happy I went to that camp."

Winston reported a 40-yard time of 4.7 seconds, as well as 300 lbs. benching, 330 squatting and 245 on the power clean.

"I really like how ASU has a high tempo defense and plays with a lot of tenacity," Winston said. "I went to some of their spring practices and I got to see how hardnosed they are and how fast they play. You can tell that they are a group that can take over a game. I love that about their defense.

"Coach Brown told me that he definitely sees me at defensive end which is different than a lot of other schools who see me as an outside linebacker. I don't prefer one position to the other. I just want to play the position I can best help the team at. I haven't played one position a lot more than the other."

Prior to the ASU offer, Winston already had offers from Washington State, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana. Nonetheless, the defensive lineman confessed that being offered by the hometown school did carry some extra weight.

"Not only is it the local school but this was the offer that all my family and friends heard about," Winston explained. "I got a lot of calls congratulating me because this really was my first big offer. I have another Pac-12 offer but I was really super pumped for this ASU offer.

"Arizona State is definitely one of my top schools. Not only because they are close to home but also because I feel comfortable there with the whole staff."

Winston added that Arizona, Fresno State, San Jose State, San Diego State, Washington and Boise State were other schools that have been recruiting him as of late. The lineman has taken unofficial visits to New Mexico, UCLA and San Diego State and indicated that he will still try and visit Washington as well as Boise State.

The Wolves had a disappointing 7-4 campaign in 2010, yet with already a handful of their players sporting BCS team scholarship offers it's easy to realize why Winston is excited about Chandler's overall talent and prospects for the upcoming season.

"I know that we are a very cohesive and unselfish team," Winston remarked. "We need to make sure that we reach our ultimate goals which is one beating Hamilton and two winning state. (Head) Coach Aguano told us that he doesn't expect anything less than perfection and that's our goal – perfection in everything we do."

Winston stated that he doesn't expect to make a decision before the season starts since he feels that he hasn't explored all his options yet.

"I don't have much to compare ASU to," Winston explained. "Staying close to home appeals to me because I know my family would come and watch me. It would obviously be easier for them to see me play if I stayed in-state. But that won't affect my final decision."


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