Skipper impressed with ASU following visit

It wasn't the first time Dan Skipper visited the campus of Arizona State, but his two-day unofficial visit earlier this week did expose the Ralston Valley offensive linemen to aspects of the football program that he wasn't aware of before. The trip to Tempe drew rave reviews from Skipper who talked to Devils Digest about his experience.

"It was a really good visit and I got to learn a lot about the program," Skipper said. "I got to meet a lot of people on the trip and get a feel for everything. I was here for some baseball games before (Skipper pitches and plays first base for his high school team) and I did get to tour the campus a little bit then. But this was the first time I got to see all the facilities and get to know the football program.

"It's a great campus and just a great place in general. I really like the coaching staff and Coach Graham seems like a man of his word and someone that would be fun to play for. Everything was really impressive."

The linemen added that the sense of accountability the players are held to and the high level of academics were other aspects that were appealing to him during his time in Tempe.

Dan Skipper was named First Team All-Conference in 5A North Metro in 2011 for Ralston Valley. His junior season was his second year as a starter at offensive tackle as the Mustangs compiled a 10-2 record during that campaign.

The Arvada, Col. lineman is being recruited by Arizona State's offensive line coach Bob Connelly. Skipper spent time with Connelly breaking down game film, as well as attending the pre-practice meeting on Tuesday.

"I love the fast pace of this offense," Skipper commented. "It makes it more fun to practice and play in that pace. It's really hard to defend and I think that the defense that practices against it every day really has an advantage when they play other teams.

"There is no other defense in the country that has to deal with such a fast pace like that and a lot of them would be sucking wind trying to stop that offense. You don't even have time to tap out when you play at that pace."

At 6-10 280 pounds Skipper is anything but your typical offensive lineman. Nonetheless, his skill set has been attractive to the Sun Devils as well as other teams that are pursuing him.

"Coach Connelly likes my athleticism and flexibility," Skipper described. "He said that he likes my size and that I'm not lumbering through on the field like a 350-pound guy. With the fast pace they (ASU) run he wants quick and fast linemen that move well in space and he said I'm the type of player they are looking for.

"Someone my size always has to work on staying low, have good footwork and good hand placement. Those are skills that you work on everyday anyway."

Skipper reported weight room marks of 420 lbs. squatting and 280 lbs. on the power clean. "I'll be hitting the weight room hard my senior season as I get ready for college," Skipper stated. "I'm not looking to gain weight just to gain weight, but if I add good muscle weight then that's fine."

ASU was one of the first schools to offer Skipper. Other programs who have extended offers are Colorado, Colorado State, Duke, Utah, Vanderbilt, Washington State, Missouri and Oregon State.

"I already (unofficially) visited both Colorado schools and Oklahoma," Skipper said. "Right now I don't have any combines or camps I'm scheduled to go to over the summer. Recruiting has been busy but I'm enjoying it."

While Skipper hasn't ruled out any future visits to his various suitors, he said that he could see himself committing at anytime during the recruiting process.

"Whenever it feels right and I know where I'm going to go that is when I will commit," Skipper explained. "If I'm undecided I won't go ahead and make a bad decision that I'm going to switch later on so I'm not stuck with it for the next four, five years.

"I'm looking for a school with good academics – that is number one on my list. I want to go to a good football program that has a good atmosphere. I love playing football and I want to play for a coach that can morph me into the best player I can possibly be."

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