"I went to a few of their games last year when they played Wisconsin, Washington and some other teams. I liked seeing how the coaches deal with things. They are really experienced and you could tell they know what they are doing. They want to win and they show that. That is something that really jumped out at me."
The 6-3 275-pound Garrett Rand is reportedly the first freshman to ever play on Hamilton's varsity's squad, a fact that naturally caught the hometown school's attention as ASU is the first program to offer the defensive lineman a scholarship.
"Coach Shipp and Coach Randolph are recruiting me," Rand commented. "They said I have tremendous work ethic and I never stop, always keep on going. They say I perfectly fit the 3-technique spot (where Will Sutton played last year) because I'm good with my stunts and athletic enough to move to the end spot. They also like my speed and strength.
"I learned a lot from playing with the older players. I need to improve on my hips' flexibility and my hands. My strength and my speed are my strong points. I'm pretty quick for my size and I run a 4.8. But I do want to get quicker. "
While ASU remains Rand's lone offer to date, many schools have been showing interest in the Huskies' standout and some of those programs will actually get a visit from the lineman in a couple of months.
"Notre Dame is recruiting me hard and I could get an offer from them in the spring," Rand said. "Stanford, Oregon, USC and Wisconsin have all been sending me some mail. Over the summer I will go to Wisconsin, Florida State and Notre Dame for their camps."
With no decision expected before his senior season, Rand is naturally open to the possibility of playing away from home, but that's not to say that he isn't been impressed with what he has seen from the Sun Devil program this past season.
"They have improved so much," Rand stated, "I was so surprised seeing from the year before how much their team has developed. It's awesome. Besides football, I do like how everything on campus is close together and everything is in walking distance. I've talked to (current ASU defensive lineman) Jaxon Hood and he told me what a great experience it is has been and how humbled he is to be on the team. Everybody talks about this being a party school, but you can cut that out because of football and how hard Coach Graham wants you to work. That's fine by me.
"Arizona State is always on my mind and I'm always thinking about them."
However, it is still very early in the recruiting process for prospects such as Rand, who vows to keep all his options open for now and be patient before making his pledge.
"I'm looking for that home feeling with a school," Rand explained. "When you first get recruited a school shows you a lot of love, but I want to have that same feeling with the school when you're about to sign with them. I just want to feel that it's the right fit."