Fanaika gives ASU visit high marks

There is no doubt that one major reason Brandon Fanaika decided to unofficially visit ASU this week was because his cousin once donned the maroon and gold. Judging by his comments following his Thursday trip the Pleasant Grove (Utah) offensive linemen was very happy that ex-ASU player a Paul Fanaika convinced him to check out Tempe, as the four-star prospect gave his experience glowing reviews.

"Oh man it was crazy!", exclaimed the 6-3 295 pound Brandon Fanaika. "It was an unbelievable experience. Everything there is just amazing. It's an amazing campus, the weather is nice because I'm used to it, it's just a beautiful place and you can tell that you will never get bored here. I just loved it.

"Everybody I met on the visit was so nice. Every question I had for the coaches they answered it. I really could tell how much the players liked it here. Seeing the stadium for the first time was really cool with the (buttes) on both sides of it. Everybody I met on campus is totally supportive of ASU. I was really surprised with all the things ASU could offer."

While at this point Fanaika has definitely formulated on his own his opinion of the school, he was relying up until just a couple of days ago on his cousin who played for ASU from 2004-2009 to learn about the Sun Devils.

"He told me how much the school cares about your education," said Fanaika. "I'm thinking of majoring in Business and Paul told me that this one of the school's best programs. On my visit I saw that this was one of the best programs in the Pac-12. My cousin Paul told me that he absolutely loved it here and I could see why he would say that."

Fanaika stated that he was able to get a current player's perspective as well about the program from center Garth Gerhart. When watching game film with his recruiting coach, Gregg Smith, he was able to further understand why Gerhart and his line mates enjoy playing in the current offensive scheme.

"I think that this scheme would be easy to learn," Fanaika explained. "It's a fast paced offense and the players I talked to said that this has benefited them more than they could ever imagine. I think playing in a fast offense would be a really good thing."

"Coach Smith said that for as big as I am he really likes my speed and also how physical I am. He said that playing early here was a possibility and obviously playing time will factor into my decision a little bit."

Fanaika is ranked as the nation's 14th best offensive guard by Scout.com. He reported weight room marks of 335 lbs. benching, 425 squatting and 265 on the power clean. The Utah lineman has been one of the most coveted players in Pac-12 country with several programs vying for his attention. While he doesn't have a list of favorites, he did admit that due to his Tempe visit Arizona State has made its way into the list of programs that have made a stronger impression than others on him.

"I don't like one school over the other," Fanaika stated. "Stanford and Arizona State are two schools that are up there and standing out to me along with Utah and UCLA. There are not favorites but just schools that are standing to me right now."

The offensive linemen said that he plans to go a Mormon mission after his first year in college, and that this is a notion that ASU and his other suitors are willing to accommodate.

"When I talked to Coach Smith at ASU," Fanaika said, "he was really supportive of that. That really showed me how much the school does care and that was really big. So that's my plan to go on a mission after I get feel for what college is really like."

Fanaika added that due to the number of high school credits he does have the option to graduate in December if he wished to do so.

Much like other prospects of his caliber, the offensive linemen is in no hurry to make an early decision and would like to take some official visits before he decides on which school to commit to.

"I'm going to take official visits to all the schools that are standing out to me," Fanaika said. "I'm looking for a school that obviously has a good football program and somewhere where I can get a good education. I'm definitely looking for a good environment to live in too."


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