Smallwood talks ASU Visit

One of Arizona State's primary targets of the 2014 recruiting class, Tashon Smallwood, took in Tempe for the first time over the weekend during an unofficial visit. The Fresno Central High School standout who in recent weeks hasn't shied away from declaring the Sun Devils as his favorite, talked to Devils Digest about his experience.

We caught up with Smallwood as he made the drive back to Fresno following his unofficial visit. He arrived on Saturday afternoon a few hours before the Oregon StateArizona State game kicked off.

"Because we got there late we didn't get to see that much of the campus," Smallwood said. "It was my first time there and I haven't seen anything like that. I liked everything about the school and I liked how the crowd there knew my name. I hung out with the players after the game and that was cool. I met with Coach Graham in his office before the game and he told me that if I decide to come here I need to be ready to work and I have to fill in some big shoes.

"I really liked how the defense played. They played aggressive and that's how I like to play. I like the way Will Sutton plays and that is the player I would replace if I came there. I talked to him, Marcus (Ball), Jaxon Hood and they all told me that they are no better coaches than the ones they have and that they are hard on you because they want to get the best out of you."

It is not unusual for prospects to have the most contact with an assistant coach who recruits them. Yet, the 6-1 285-pound Tashon Smallwood, a four-star prospect ranked 18th among 2014 defensive tackles, commented that head coach Todd Graham has been personally recruiting him for a few months now.

"I like how he always keeps it real with me," Smallwood remarked. "He and I talk a lot during the week and I don't get that from a lot of coaches. Manny (Wilkins) recruits me a lot – he's the man (laughs). It definitely helps when there's a high school player like yourself that talks to you about the school (ASU)."

The defensive lineman, who's only official visit to date was to Oklahoma said that he expects to officially visit ASU on January 17th and that one of ASU's opponents this season could be another official visit destination that month. He added that he doesn't plan to make any decision before he takes all of his official visits.

"Arizona State is still my leader," Smallwood said. "I may visit Notre Dame too. Miami and Alabama are other schools I'm looking at. I'm not looking at Oklahoma anymore.

"I want to go to a place where I really see myself living at for the next few years, and a place where I really get along with the coaches."

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