Long Beach Poly commits meet with ASU staff

The quintet of pledges from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly have always been one of the most impressive attributes of ASU's 2012 recruiting class, and the new ASU staff is working in earnest to make sure that it remains that way. Devils Digest caught up with Josiah Blandin, Salamo Fiso and Matthew Rowe who all met with ASU's coaches on Wednesday to talk about their impressions of this in person visit.

Wide receiver Josiah Blandin wasn't able to meet with the Arizona State coaches when they first came to visit his teammates in mid-December, but according to him his face to face meeting on Wednesday was well worth the wait.

"I met with coach Norvell and coach Alexander and the visit went great," said an enthusiastic Blandin. "I can't even explain it…these guys are special and made me feel really good about Arizona State. Both of them are so sharp and really knew what they were talking about and that made a great impression on me.

"They didn't guarantee me playing time as a freshman, but they guaranteed me a great opportunity to play as a freshman. They explained everything to me about the new offense and I watched Wisconsin and Pittsburgh so I know it's a system where wide receivers have a lot of opportunities to catch balls and show their talents."

The 6-4 185-pound Blandin, as well as the rest of his Jackrabbit teammates are planning to officially visit Tempe on January 20th, and while the wide receiver admitted that he is exploring his options he hinted that that this Arizona State trip could ultimately firm up his pledge.

"I'm still committed to Arizona State but I'm also looking around," Blandin acknowledged. "But Arizona State is the school I always wanted to go to. I really like UCLA and that is where coach (Steve) Broussard who used to recruit me is now coaching at but they never offered me. The Arizona coaches have been calling me but I don't have any visits planned to them or any other schools.

"Even though I'm looking around I'm pretty sure that Arizona State is where I'm going to end at. When the coaches got fired, I was a little hesitant but really nothing changed for me with Arizona State."

While Blandin met with some of the Sun Devil offensive staff, linebacker Salamo Fiso visited with Chris Ball, who is slated to be ASU's defensive backs coach. Nonetheless, the end result was the same as Fiso was also impressed meeting a member of Todd Graham's staff.

"I haven't talked to (the ASU coaches) in a while so it was good to meet them," Fiso said. "This was the first time I met coach Ball. He told me how the coaches plan to improve the program and how they want to recruit players with character."

The 6-1 215-pound Fiso also discussed with Ball the new defensive scheme Graham and his staff are planning to implement in Tempe and how it can benefit him and his skills.

"He told me that they are going to run mostly a ‘30' (i.e. 3-4) defense," Fiso stated. "Coach said that he really likes my instincts and my speed on the field and said that he feels I would do very well in that scheme and I would have a chance to play early.

"ASU is a school that has good linebackers and with this system I will have a chance to play early, so I still like the school."

Fiso will however explore his possibilities, and plans to take a closer look at Colorado, Nebraska and UCLA who have all offered him.

"I'm going to visit Colorado on the 13th," Fiso remarked, "and on the 27th I might visit Nebraska but I don't know yet. The Colorado visit is kind of up in the air too. I'm trying to keep all my options open."

That last sentiment is also shared by fellow linebacker Matthew Rowe. The 6-2 195-pound Rowe also met with coach Ball.

"The visit went well," Rowe said. "He talked about me playing the position of outside linebacker in their scheme. I like that system because it gets after the quarterback and that's one of my favorite things to do. I think it's a system that can get me on the field quickly when I get there.

"He told me what a great program it is and what a beautiful campus they have and that he can't wait to get me down there for a visit on the 20th."

Rowe said that while he doesn't have any other visits lined up yet, and that schools such as Nebraska and Washington who were in contact with him during the season haven't communicated with him the recent weeks.

Having said that, when asked if he feels that his commitment to ASU is now on more solid ground than before he replied: "I'll have that answer for you after I take my official visit."

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