It Has Not Been Smooth Sailing For Cruse

Up until recently defensive tackle Gino Cruse has been a relative unknown in the recruiting circles. Being named the MVP in the Seattle Nike Camp may have changed that status to some degree. Nevertheless, the Phoenix Desert Vista HS player told DevilsDigest that he wishes more schools would show interest.

After his stellar performance in Seattle, the hometown Washington Huskies were so impressed that they offered him a scholarship. However, that has been the only major school to extend him an offer. "ASU sent me letters about the school, but that's about it." He says, "They haven't called me. I am interested in them, but I'll tell you what – Washington is on my rear end (smile)…besides Washington, Idaho State were the only ones to offer me. They know that they basically have no chance, but they told me that if things don't work out they have a scholarship for me."

When we asked him about his MVP performance he humbly said "I did all right at the Washington Nike Camp." But it comes to assessing his own skills, the defensive tackle projects much more confidence. "I live to beat the quarterback's behind. I'm real good getting up field, penetrating the line, and making the quarterback run. There are not a lot of people that can stop me…I need to get better against the run. I also need to become more a student of the game. The first time I picked up a football was my freshman year."

Cruse mentioned Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Nebraska, and Cal as other schools that have shown some degree of interest. Staying close to home doesn't seem like a factor that could sway Cruse's decision. "I probably want to leave the state, but things are subject to change. If ASU came hard after me, then things could change. Right now I probably want to go to Washington, but I won't commit. I'm not ready to commit, because I want to make sure that I'm making a good decision."

The defensive tackle said that a commitment on his part could come early if the right circumstances present themselves. "I want to take my trips, if nothing else just for the experience. I might commit to Washington early. But it would be on an agreement that things are subject to change. If they agree to that I'll commit. If not, then I won't commit." And what about his hometown school? "I really like it there at ASU, and for a while that's where I really wanted to go. But after a while you tend to lean towards the people that give you love." Time will tell if the interest for Cruse will pick up…

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