Grand Canyon State Fertile for ASU Recruiting

The Sun Devils have always taken pride in recruiting the best athletes in their back yard, and the 2004 class is shaping up as having a plethora of local talent for ASU to choose from. DevilsDigest interviewed several Phoenix area prospects, including Zach Miller, Corion Cooper, Trammel McGill and others, about their interest in donning the maroon and gold and playing close to home.

TE Zach Miller 6-5 240 – By far the state's biggest blue chip recruit. Several college football powerhouses nationwide are vying for his services, which makes ASU's quest in signing him very challenging to say the least. Miller attended the Devils' camp last week, on which he commented: "It was good. The coaches kept a fast pace. I know all the coaches there so I enjoyed it."

Being a coveted recruit can be taxing, but Miller seems to take it all in stride. "I think I'm handling the recruiting pressure really well." He says, "A lot of people have been calling, and I'm just letting them know I'm not ready to decide right now." Unlike his brother and incoming Sun Devils freshman Brent who committed last summer, Zach is adamant about taking his full slate of five official visits. "I want to see what other schools have to offer, and choose the best place for me. I want to go to a school where I like the area, the coaches, and how often they get the ball to tight end - because I want to play in the NFL one day."

Even though Miller is extremely familiar with the hometown school, he did tell DevilsDigest that he does intend to make Tempe the destination of one of his official trips. "If I had to make a list of schools that I would visit now, those schools would be Miami, USC, Tennessee, Michigan." Naturally, all those schools have offered him, as well as ASU. The tight end is faltered, but not blinded by the storied programs that are pursuing him. "A lot of the stuff is hype, and that's why I want to take my visits and find out for myself everything about the school and their football program."

Miller also plays defensive end for Desert Vista high school in Phoenix, but said that despite recording 102 tackles, including 15 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks, only Notre Dame is recruiting him at that position. As a tight end last season, he caught 27 passes for 520 yards and 6 touchdowns. When we asked him to self assess his skills, he replied: "I'm good at getting down field, running routes, and catching the ball. I could do better at precision running, and run blocking."

Whether he follows the footsteps of his sibling and signs with ASU still remains the Million Dollar recruiting question weighing on the minds of the maroon and gold faithful. However, he was impressed that ASU proved the pre-season pundits wrong in 2002, and goes on to say, "I think they'll be even better this year." And what role will his brother play in the recruiting process? "Brent doesn't put much pressure on me now. Maybe later on he'll put the pressure on (smile)."

WR Corion Cooper 5-11 179 – another national recruit from the same high school as Miller. Cooper didn't attend the Sun Devils camp, but the recruiting interest, to his delight, hasn't cooled off. "ASU has kept in close contact with me. I'm excited that they're recruiting me. They're a great up and coming school." Cooper mentioned ASU and rival Arizona as his top schools, as well as his desire to play college football in his hometown state. "Only Arizona offered a scholarship, but I hope to receive one from ASU."

The wide receiver mentions Florida, Washington, Washington State, USC, and Miami as other schools that are recruiting him heavily. "I try to compare those schools to what I have here. I don't think they're better just because it's Miami. They're good athletes here in Arizona, and there good athletes over there. I want to go to a school that I can play as soon as possible, and learn quickly." Cooper, who runs a 4.49 in the 40-yard dash, portrays his strengths and weaknesses as: "I run good routes, and I'm a strong aggressive receiver with good hands. I could improve in just learning the game more."

Cooper admits that he wouldn't mind to go on and keep on playing on the same team as his high teammate Miller. "We do talk about playing together in college, and we're excited about taking some of our recruiting trips together." And just like in Zach Miller's case, Brent Miller could be a persuasive force during the recruiting season. "Brent playing at ASU will be a factor in my decision. If he's getting love, then it would be a good place for me to go to." Cooper is also in no hurry to pull the trigger on his decision on where to play college football. "I'm gonna take my time and take my visits. I'm just waiting for that feeling in my heart that tells me which college I need to go to..."

RB Trammel McGill 6-0 185 – One of the most explosive offensive players in the state of Arizona. The Hamilton High School running back enjoyed his time at the ASU camp, and was faltered by the attention he received from the Sun Devil coaches. "The recruiting with ASU is going real good. It was nice camp, and the coaches seemed real interested in me…ASU hasn't offered, but I hope an offer comes real soon." He mentioned that most of the Pac-10 schools are pursuing him as well, but he has yet to receive any scholarship offers.

McGill who runs a 4.5, describes himself as a player who has "Quick feet, nice speed, nice balance…but I need to work on my hands a little more, and get bigger." He told DevilsDigest he had no preference on whether to stay close to home and commit to Arizona State, or seek opportunities out of state. One thing is for certain, he's another player who fans shouldn't be holding their breath in anticipation for his verbal commitment. "I'm going to commit later in the year. I want to talk to my family before I make a decision."

S Myrio Davis 6-3 200 – Another Hamilton product who has caught the eye of the ASU staff. "I didn't get a chance to go to camp, but they (ASU coaches) got to see me in a 7-on-7 tournament. The recruiting with ASU is going real well." Davis has high praise for the Sun Devil program, but said he has no problems with playing out of state. He lists Arizona, Colorado, Colorado St., Oregon, and Miami as other schools vying for his services, with the first three schools offering a scholarship.

Davis, who plays receiver on his high school team, is being recruited as a safety. "I like that ASU plays three safeties. That could make a difference in my decision." Davis renders him self as a speedster (runs a 4.4) that has good reaction speed, as well as proficiency in: "Breaking on the ball and seeing the field. I do need to stronger in the weight room." Davis is another player that would like to explore all his options before settling on a school.

RB Nigel Ricks 6-0 175 – This Cactus High School star amassed over 1,300 yards in only seven games in 2002. That coupled with a solid showing in the Nike Camp has garnered interest not only from ASU, but also from Oregon, LSU, UCLA, Boise St., and Utah. "ASU haven't offered, but nobody else has either. I'm getting lots of interest from ASU. The camp was great. There was lots of competition, and lots of intensity on every play. I learned a lot. " Overall he calls ASU an "attractive" program that has a strong chance in signing him.

As a player that's been clocked in the 4.3's, he naturally lists his speed and cutting ability as his strengths. Field vision is an aspect of his game that could use improvement. As far as his thoughts on recruiting he says: "I'm more than comfortable leaving home, but I would obviously love to stay close to home. I truly don't know when I'm gonna decide. A lot of colleges tell you what they need and what they want. But I don't know what I want. I haven't seen too many campuses, so I don't know where I would feel comfortable."

WR Drew Mugleston 6-2 195 – his recruiting by the Sun Devils didn't suffer despite missing their camp. "They did call me recently. I'm creating a highlight film for them and sending in my questionnaire, so things are going all right." Judging by the conversation, he seems very eager to play for ASU, as he proclaims: "My first choice would be to stay in-state." If he were to leave the state, he would likely consider BYU, Colorado, Washington, Washington State, and San Diego State as his ultimate destination.

Mugleston feels that his physical attributes are his biggest asset. "I'm 6-2, so I'm a little taller than most corners, and I run a 4.4. I'm aggressive, and I'm always going up for the ball. I could probably do a better job reading the field." He also mentioned that the Sun Devils are recruiting him not only as a receiver, but also as an all-around defensive back. Unlike other players featured in this article, he doesn't rule out an early verbal commitment. "Depending on the offers I get, I could decide early."

LB Adam Vincent 6-3 215 – The linebacker was invited to ASU's camp, but was unable to attend. However, he's another Hamilton product that has been receiving considerable recruiting attention from the hometown team. "I've been hearing a lot from ASU. It's been a good recruiting experience so far. I really like the coaches."

On the surface, the fact that the Sun Devils play two linebackers could be a deterrent in recruiting for this position. Nevertheless, this fact hardly fazes Vincent. "It doesn't make a difference that they play two linebackers. I like their style of defense. They fly around a lot. I just want to go to a place where I can run around and hit somebody." However, by his own admission, his style of play also has its pitfalls. "My weakness is that I sometimes take bad angles and over run on plays."

Colorado St., Washington State, and Washington have all offered. He hopes that Arizona and ASU follow suit. One shouldn't be surprised if Vincent, along with his other talented high school teammates, all sign with the same college. "We talk about going as a package, we just don't know where yet." Thus, he's in no rush to verbally commit.

DE David Smith 6-2 247– Another player who had an enjoyable time in ASU's camp last week. "It was a pretty good camp. At least the coaches knew my name there (smile). I had lots of fun, and I think I did pretty good." He told DevilsDigest that he has been receiving somewhat limited interest from ASU, but is being recruited by the likes of Colorado St. Arizona, Oregon, and Okalahoma. "It doesn't really matter where I play." He said, "I have no problems going out of state."

The Hamilton High School player mentions speed as the biggest element he needs to improve on. "I need to get it down to a 4.7. I didn't get the ball rushed to my side, so I did more pass rushing. But I need to work more on my run stopping skills" The defensive end doesn't expect to make a decision before later November or December.

Stay tuned in the next few weeks, as DevilsDigest will feature articles on several other Sun Devil prospects from the local high school ranks, as well as from the rest of the nation.

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