ASU visits Cozens, extends scholarship offer

Dylan Cozens has played only one year of football, yet he made his lone prep campaign a memorable one to say the least. While he was lightly pursued by the outgoing ASU coaching staff, new head coach Todd Graham has taken a different approach visiting the Scottsdale Chaparral defensive end on Thursday night. Cozens shared with Devils Digest his thoughts about this meeting and recruitment.

"Coach Graham and coach Ball came to talk to me tonight and it was a good visit," Cozens said. "I did talk to one of the offensive coaches (Mike Norvell) on the phone a few weeks ago but this was the first time I personally met with the (Arizona State) coaches. They showed me how bad they wanted me and talked about what changes I'm going to see in the program and what kind of defense they are going to run. They're expecting big things at ASU and I think you'll see a different attitude and more discipline on the team.

"The old (ASU) coaches really didn't talk much to me and I was disappointed. But the new coaches offered me a scholarship tonight and want me to play for their team, and said that it would be great for me to play close to home."

As a senior, the local defensive end posted 45 tackles and 7.5 sacks. Cozens said that Graham and his staff are intrigued by his pass rushing skills and think he would in well to the eventual 3-4 scheme the Sun Devil coaches plan to eventually implement.

"In their system they see me as a defensive end on the boundary side," The 6-5 245-pound Cozens explained. "They said that they had some good defensive tackles coming back but that they needed some good defensive ends to go along with them."

Cozens said that his father forbid him to play football in his first three years of high school, which he did spend at nearby Desert Mountain playing basketball and baseball. He transferred to Chaparral his senior year and at the time he did receive his father's blessing to take to the gridiron.

Judging by his performance, suffice to say that the adjustment for him on and off the field has been seamless.

"It's been crazy having such a good experience in my first year of playing football," Cozens admitted. "It really came natural to me. I did have high expectations for myself even though this was my first year playing and I'm happy I was able to play at a high level.

"I guess when I think about all of it, it's pretty amazing."

Consequently, Cozens' recruitment activity picked up steam as the 2011 season progressed. The defensive end already has three visits under his belt, to Boise State, Missouri and Washington. His last two visits are scheduled for Utah and Arizona later this month.

Arizona State is obviously in some respects late to the party in terms of recruiting Cozens, yet the defensive end is certainly open to the Sun Devils' overtures and does plan to visit the team this month.

"I'm definitely going to visit them unofficially," Cozens said. "But I could also visit them officially instead of Utah. So we'll see what happens. The other teams recruited me longer than ASU, but I obviously know a lot about that program and really all of them are equal to me.

"I'm looking for a successful program where I will have an opportunity to compete to play my first year. I'm also looking for a school where I need to get along with all the coaches, especially the head coach. I'm just gonna take all my five visits and look at all my options before I decide."

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