Even though the Sun Devils haven't offered one of the best defensive linemen in the West, Linehan has no problem with the attention he's receiving, from Arizona State. "I've been getting a lot of letters from them. If they called I probably missed them, because once they miss you they can't call back. There are all these rules; I'm not sure about it…(smile). I know that my coaches have talked to one of the coaches there, and ASU just asked for some tapes of mine. So maybe an offer is coming." Both Oregon schools are the only notable programs to extend him a scholarship offer to date.
When we asked him about his impressions of the Sun Devils, he sounded genuinely enthusiastic. "Arizona State is a great school. I did watch some games last year, and they seem to have a lot of talent. They had that defensive end (Terrell Suggs) who was amazing. They are a fun team to watch." Linehan realizes that having a talented player like Suggs says a lot about the people running the show. "Every school has one or two players that stand out. When you got a guy like Suggs you have to figure out that the coaches there are doing a good job."
Linehan said that last season he had approximately 90 tackles, seven sacks, and his proudest achievement "A 54-yard interception for a touchdown." He does note his quickness as his biggest asset. "I always had good feet. The schools recruiting me are saying that it's all about the feet right now. I have good hands too. I play basketball so I can really move around. Last year I wasn't the strongest, so I used my quickness and feet a lot. But now with my personal trainer I'm much stronger. . I'm up to 270 pounds. My strength right now compared to last year, is not even close…" His weight along with his 6-4 frame is causing schools to look at him as a tackle rather than an end, and that's a non-issue in Linehan's book. "End is ideal for me, but I don't know if I'm fast enough to play there. I don't care either way where I play."
When it's time for him to settle on a school, the defensive lineman knows what factor will weigh the heaviest in his decision. "The comfort zone has to be there. You have to feel like you fit in the program. You also have to have a bond with the coaches, and the idea that you're gonna play right away. You want to be a starter on a program on the rise." Even though he's receiving the most serious interest from his home state schools, he wouldn't mind committing to a school far from Oregon. "I think it would be a good opportunity to play away from home, and see how you do on your own. It's totally up in the air. I could go either way."
With a 3.0 GPA and a 1010 on his SAT, Linehan's academics are all taken care of. However, his timing for his verbal commitment isn't quite that simple. "I'm probably gonna wait it out, and not commit early. It all depends on who offers. I want to see what other schools offer me scholarships. ASU is a school I'm real interested in, and I would probably like to visit." If a scholarship offer comes from Tempe a trip by Linehan to the Valley of the Sun is more than likely to follow...
Could Linehan Find a ‘Comfort Zone' in Tempe?
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