Wilkins savors Semper Fi Bowl Experience

For months now ASU quarterback commit, Manny Wilkins, has been recruiting the likes of Tyler Whiley, Demario Richard and Kammy Delp. In the Semper Fi All-American bowl game, he shared the same field as his fellow Sun Devil pledges. The signal caller talked to Devils Digest about joining forces with his fellow 2014 recruiting classmates and the ongoing efforts adding players to this class.

"It was amazing," Wilkins said. "Getting in there and playing with Demario, Tyler and Kammy was just cool. It was awesome and I appreciate the opportunity I was given, the coaching staff was great, we had great activities and I'm just happy I was able to be a part of this."

Another reason that made this bowl experience special for Wilkins was seeing his recruiting efforts of Kammy Delp come to fruition as the Pomona (Calif.) two-way lineman announced during Sunday's game that he was committing to Arizona State.

Wilkins recruited Delp in earnest as they spent several days practicing for the game, and ironically Delp had made up his mind a few weeks ago but only tipped his cap, pun intended, to Wilkins a few hours before kickoff signaling his intentions.

"I didn't mind recruiting him this whole time even though he was already committed," Wilkins stated. "He's a great lineman and has tremendous upside. Playing both defensive line and offensive line he's one of those guys that will just end up helping out with everything and make an impact.

"He was very cool about the decision pulling back everything from everyone. It was very cool to see him get his moment there. I was talking to him a little before the game, and he showed me what he had in his backpack and he pulled out an ASU hat so then I knew it was going to be official."

Aside from Delp, Wilkins also shared several game day reps with running back Demario Richard and wide receiver Tyler Whiley, saying that it was a true joy seeing the exploits of these two skill players up close and personal.

"Demario is a really good running back and is very good at being patient," Wilkins described. "Once he picks up the offense and improves his technique like all of us (incoming freshmen) he'll be great. He's does a great job hitting the holes quick and that was great to see. I had fun running the read option with him.

"Tyler was one of the better receivers in practice. Things happened in the game, I think he had one drop off his chest but that isn't anything to harp on. He's a really good possession receiver, very good route runner, makes great cuts and is able to get defenders off of him easily.

"I wasn't surprised seeing in person what they can both do. I have high expectations for all of our commits. I know we are getting the best of the best and I'm really excited to be playing with them again here in the near future."

Wilkins' recruiting efforts will probably hit a crescendo the weekend of January 17th where several coveted Sun Devil prospects such as Eric Lauderdale, Kalen Ballage, and Kweishi Brown will visit Tempe. What is the quarterback's game plan going into the biggest weekend in the 2014 recruiting cycle?

"I just want to enjoy my visit because this will be my first official visit," Wilkins said, "and also get to know everybody. They are going to be a lot of good recruits there and we (the commits) will show them why this is the best place to be at.

"The coaching staff has a really done a very good job doing what they preach, being disciplined out there with their play. Not a lot of programs have a 10-win season and being ranked and this program is just taking off. Seeing everything we accomplished…it's only going to better from here.

"I hope I can come in and really do some special things. I know that we all need to come together as a family, work hard every day to be the best we can be and get to that Rose Bowl and national championship."


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