Grand Canyon State Fertile for ASU Recruiting II

In this second exclusive DevilsDigest Arizona high school prospects article, we take a look another nine in-state players, such as John Kadous (pictured), Max Hall, B.J. Dennard, and others that have caught the Sun Devils' eye. These recruits talk about their interest in donning the maroon and gold and possibly playing close to home.

OL John Kadous 6-6 310 – Arguably the best offensive lineman in the state. Kadous hails from Salpointe HS in Tucson, and lists ASU as one of the first schools that have contacted him ever since his sophomore year. "They're a good program, and I've been pretty impressed with them so far." He's not a close friend of former Tucson high school standout Stephen Berg who currently plays for the Sun Devils, but Berg and him undoubtedly share the razzing from his fellow Tucsonans who tend to dislike their neighbors in the Valley of the Sun. "Yeah, I get a little teasing about maybe going to ASU. But if I go there I know that everybody will be supportive. Stephen Berg going to ASU isn't much a factor. I have a friend that went to UCLA, so it's not like I have to go to a school in Arizona."

Kadous didn't have a chance to participate in ASU's camp earlier this month, but a tour of the facilities and Sun Devil stadium has left him deeply impressed. He lists the entire Pac-10 conference among the schools recruiting him, in addition to Notre Dame, Colorado, Colorado St., Michigan St., and Northwestern. "Only U of A offered me, but Colorado St. and Northwestern will probably offer me very soon."

The offensive lineman has a hard time narrowing down his favorite schools, but the Sun Devils do remain intriguing to him. "I don't have a top five, but ASU is a school I have high interest in. I'll probably take an official visit there in the fall…whatever schools fits me the best that's where I'm going. It won't matter if it's in or out of state."

Run blocking and blocking down field are some his strong points, according to his self-assessment, while exploding off the line is trait that he seeks to improve on. Naturally, with a plethora of schools vying for his interest, Kadous will take his time to decipher between his suitors and settle on a school. "I'm gonna wait it out and make sure I'm making a good choice. I don't want to rush into anything."

QB Max Hall 6-1 175 – Out of all the local recruits being pursued by ASU, you'll probably won't find a player with more ties to the program than this standout Mountain View HS signal caller. Case in point, his grandfather is Wilford (Whizzer) White and his uncle is Danny White - both Sun Devil greats whose numbers have been retired by the school.

Naturally, Hall was very excited when the hometown school offered him a scholarship the other week. "It feels good. I was real excited when I got it (the offer) because I grew up an ASU fan. They've been recruiting me since the spring, and it was nice to get the offer pretty soon after that...It's been a great experience meeting Coach Koetter and (Quarterbacks) Coach Helfrich. They really know what they're doing, and I enjoyed working with them during camp. I got to see the campus when I went to camp, and they really treated me great there."

While Hall is enjoying the interest from ASU, as of now he's in no hurry to pull the trigger on his verbal commitment. The fact that he's not being persuaded by his family to stay close to home is greatly appreciated by him. "I'm keeping an open mind, and I'm not receiving any pressure from my family. They'll support any decision I make. It's nice that ASU is close to my home and family, but that's not why I will make my decision. I'm gonna go to the school I feel comfortable with." The blue chipper also mentioned that he hasn't had a chance to talk to his famous uncle, who was busy coaching the Arizona Rattlers to the Arena Bowl championship, but he does plan to talk to him in the near future.

Hall has received a slew of offers and among those programs are Washington State, BYU, Utah, and Northwestern. The issue of him going on a Mission has been brought up with all schools. The quarterback told us that his suitors haven't ask him to take one route over another on this issue, and as it is he's not sure which course of action he will pursue himself. "It depends what the school wants me to do. If they want to redshirt me and then go on a mission, or go on a mission straight out of high school…I'm OK either way."

With 2,384 yards and 26 touchdowns during his junior, coming into the 2003 season Max Hall is considered one of the best at his position among the Phoenix area high schools. He completed 53% of his passes (130-242) and had only eight INT's. When we asked him to assess his skills he replied: "I'm really good in dropping back and reading defenses. I really didn't have to scramble much because we had such a good line. I was just able to throw from the pocket. I can run the ball decently, but I could be a better option quarterback." He did admit that the drop back style of the ASU offense does suit his skills better.

Hall had recently changed his approach when trying to decide when to render his verbal commitment to the school of hi choice. "When I sat down with my coach before all this recruiting started, he thought it would be good if I made a decision before the season. That what's I intended to do. But now that I took unofficial visits to ASU, BYU, and Washington State – it's harder than what I thought. So, I don't think I'll make an early decision. I'll take a few official visits and see from there."

WR B.J. Dennard 6-1 175 – Just like Hall, the ASU bloodlines run thick in this Brophy's receiver veins. B.J. is the son of former Arizona State receiver Glenn Dennard, cousin of former ASU receiver Ryan Dennard, and even has an uncle who played in the pros - former LA Rams receiver Preston Dennard. Having all these family members aiding him in recruiting is quite the asset when it comes to dealing with the recruiting rigors. "My situation is different than other players." He said, "I've been around football all my life. My father and my uncle are helping me through the recruiting process. They're just telling me to be humble, and keep on doing what I do. They tell me if I do that, good things will happen."

Dennard admitted to growing up an ASU fan, and is naturally ecstatic over the attention he's receiving from his favorite team. "It's going great with ASU. I like them a lot, and I'm excited that they're recruiting me. It's looking real good." The receiver also mentioned that he enjoyed his time at the Sun Devils' camp, as well as interacting with the ASU coaches. "I liked that I walked into the meeting room and saw players from all around the country. It felt really good competing against them. The coaches did a great job teaching us about the game."

When we asked the Brophy standout to evaluate his skills, he replied: "Running routes is my strong point. I just need to be more a student of the game and rely less on my athletic skills. You have to be smarter than other athletes, because once you get to the next level they'll be players that are just as good of an athlete as you are. You have to have an advantage over them."

While literally the whole Pac-10 conference, as well as, Michigan and Nebraska, have been pursuing Dennard, Arizona has been the only school to offer. Either way, Dennard doesn't have a favorite school, nor does he anticipate an early decision. "I'm pretty much open to any school right now. I'm gonna take my time and take my visits."

CB Uriah Marshall 6-0 180 – Dennard's high school teammate posses a blazing 4.4 speed, and thus it's no wonder that he was already offered a scholarship by the hometown Devils. "They've been talking to me since the summer after my sophomore year" exclaims Marshall, "They're showing that they're really interested in me." Just like Dennard, the cornerback relished over his experience at the ASU camp for the same reasons. "I liked camp a lot. There were 200 kids, and there was a broad range of players and lots of competition from all over the country. I liked that a lot…I love (Cornerbacks) Coach Ramsey. He has a lot of experience."

Pac-10 foes, Washington and UCLA, are the only schools who offered him aside from ASU. In an interesting twist of events Michigan has pursued him lately, mainly because of current Wolverine defensive backs coach and former Devils' cornerbacks coach Ron English, who recruited Marshall for ASU last season. Cal and Colorado are other schools the cornerback has mentioned in our conversation.

Despite the heavy attention he's been getting from top college programs, Marshall is taking the recruiting process in stride, and concentrating on his senior season. "I'm enjoying it (recruiting). I'm not looking at it as a bad thing or as pressure. I'm having fun and working hard. I'm focused on my senior year, not recruiting. If I do that, everything will fall into place…I'm ready to line up with B.J. (Marshall also plays WR) and have a great season. We're gonna have a good team this year."

Marshall describes his skills as follows: "I'm very aggressive…I have great cover skills. I love contact and I hit hard. I got good speed and that helps me in my coverage. My eye coordination is something I still need to work on." While the cornerback proclaims the Sun Devils as his leader, he's quick to say "I want to visit UCLA and Washington before I commit to any school. Those schools and ASU are pretty much my top three. I'm gonna take my trips, see how I like the schools and the atmosphere there, and just let it all fall into place."

LB Dustin Kleven 6-3 210 – Chaparral HS is filled with prospects that ASU fancies, and in Kelven's case the admiration is definitely mutual. "I've always been a Devils fan." He says, "I'm not saying that I have to stay close to home, but I would love to play for ASU." He mentioned that the Sun Devils have been sending letters since January. An unfortunate injury prevented him from participating in the team camp, but he did get to play in the passing league, which he enjoyed immensely. Northwestern and Wyoming are the only colleges to offer him a full ride, and San Diego State is likely to be the third program to do so.

The linebacker lists his strong points as "I'm hard nosed and I like to hit…I need to work on my speed getting off the ball and running sideline to sideline." Kleven lists several factors that would lead him to make a decision on the college of his choice: "I'm going to look at the overall football program, educational opportunities, and the coaching staff…you always want to see who (the school) they're recruiting, and how many senior linebackers they have. I'm also looking at the overall atmosphere."

The fact that ASU plays two linebackers on every down isn't a deterrent to Kelven when he thinks about his prospects with the Devils. "I really like their style of defense. They just fly around and always attack. Kleven is a bit vague about his timetable for a decision. "I know it won't be an early decision but I won't be waiting until signing day."

WR/S Kam Kranz 6-1 200 – This exceptional athlete, and fellow teammate of Kelven's plays running back, wide receiver, and defense back for his high school team. His 4.55 speed has landed him also on several of the special teams' units as well. Right now he hasn't been receiving a whole lot of attention from the hometown school, but he hopes that will change in a hurry. "I haven't been talking to ASU that long. I really talked to the coaches for the first time during the ASU camp. I liked the facilities and I live close to there. It's a program that will get better every year, and it would be nice to play close to home and be part of the team."

Kranz mentioned that U of A, and BYU are the only major schools pursuing him, and he is still seeking that elusive first offer. Speaking of elusive, Kranz considers that trait to be one that he hopes to improve on. "I'm good in catching and running with the ball, and getting a lot of yards after the catch. I could use help on break away speed, and short movements getting away from people." The Chaparral player would like to receive more recruiting attention, and ultimately scholarship offers, before he sets on verbaling to a school.

WR John Peel 6-1 189 – Unlike Kranz, Peel has been garnering a lot of attention from several schools. On the other hand, much like his teammate, he would love to play for the maroon and gold. "ASU has been contacting me since the end of the high school season." Says Peel, "I talked to the coaches and got a lot of information. It was a great camp and I did really well…I love the offense that they run there. ASU is definitely my favorite."

Peel listed his suitors as the majority of Pac-10 schools, along with, Colorado, Colorado State, and Utah. When asked what factors he's looking for in a school when making his decision, his answer is very pragmatic. "I'm just looking for a scholarship. I hope it's ASU but I can't get too greedy about it."

When listing his attributes, he mentions his hands, strength, and route running as his dominant skills. "I could get better on my break away speed, but I have been improving. I run a 4.5 and I know I can get better." When speaking of the timing of his decision, he once again shows his affinity to Dirk Koetter's team. "It all depends on who offers. If ASU offers I'll probably verbal right away. If it's another school I'll probably wait it out."

OL Thomas Gagliardi 6-6 315 – Another in-state lineman who hails from Moon Valley high school. He told us he had mixed feelings about ASU and their recruiting interest in them. "Recruiting with ASU is going all right. Not as good as I want it to be, but it's all right." Nevertheless, he does state that "I'm pretty high on ASU. I liked their camp, and how the coaches actually took time to get to know the person." Other schools recruiting Gagliardi are UCLA, Colorado State, and U of A.

We asked him to list his attributes, and he replied by saying: "I'm very strong. Right now I'm going through speed camp, so I can get quicker. I'm better at pass blocking, and that makes ASU a little more attractive with the type of offense they run." Playing close or away from home is hardly an issue with the Moon Valley standout who simply says: "I don't care how far I go to school – as long as they want to play for my college (smile)." Consequently, he does plan to make his decision late in the recruiting process and let himself "keep my options open."

TE Mike Barr 6-6 220 – If it weren't for Desert Vista's Zach Miller, this Payson HS star would easily be the top in-state prospect in his position. He was regarded as being the second best tight end, behind Miller at the SoCal Nike Camp. Despite the fact that he wasn't able to partake in the Sun Devils' camp, the mutual interest on both sides has never waned. "ASU is at the top of my list and I think they're as interested in me as much as I am with them. They've been contacting me since the beginning of my junior year. I'm saw the campus, and I'm real impressed." Barr will able to take another closer look at the team in about six weeks, as ASU makes the trek to Camp Tontozona, located approximately 17 miles from Barr's hometown.

The tight end mentions Colorado as the only school to offer a scholarship. "Northwestern, Washington, and UCLA are pretty interested too. I think I'd like to visit all those schools and ASU." Living in a remote area of Arizona hasn't seemed to limit his exposure, which Barr doesn't take for granted. "I feel that it's hard to get noticed up here in Payson, but I'm lucky that I have a lot of schools noticing me."

With 17 TD's and 828 yards receiving, it's no surprise that the tight end lists his catching superior to his blocking skills. Notwithstanding the fact that he would like to take some official visits before settling on a school, he does express his desire not to fly away far from the nest. "I'd like to stay close to home so I could come back every once in a while." The Sun Devils sound like a prime candidate to fulfill that desire…

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