NorCal Linebacker impressed on ASU visit

From the team's culture to its goals and aspirations, there were many items that caught the attention of Ben Burr-Kirven who visited Tempe earlier this week. Devils Digest caught up with the Atherton, Calif. linebacker following that trip.

"I got to spend some time with both Coach Graham and Coach Patterson and had a great time," Burr-Kirven said. "It was awesome checking out the facilities; getting a feel for the program, and that is a place where I could see myself there.

"All the coaches there told me that they don't want to be just good, they want to be national champions. They have those pictures in their offices. All they want to be is the best. They also have a very strong belief in what kind of character their players should have which was great to see. They don't want to have just the best team on the field, but also off the field.

"I got to talk the team's academic advisor (Jean Boyd) for quite a bit, and he told us that the school can offer a great education especially with their Honors College which has 6,000 students. So you really have a lot of educational opportunities here."

Since Burr-Kirven didn't arrive to Tempe until later in the afternoon he didn't get to watch the Arizona State defense practice, but from following the Sun Devils last year he is plenty familiar with the team's schemes, a system that is very appealing to the linebacker.

"You have to love the aggressiveness of the linebackers," Burr-Kirven? commented. "They send a lot of guys on blitzes to create turnovers. They always push the envelope instead of just sitting back and reacting. They want to be a playmaking defense that kind of controls the game as a whole and gets the ball back to their offense."

The 6-0 200 Ben Burr-Kirven? stated that the ASU coaches do like his speed (reported a 4.49 40-time) and athleticism, as well as his football I.Q. and his overall sound play that could help him be a leader early in his college career.

"The coaches said that they like me inside at the WILL or SAM," The linebacker said. "I feel that I have very strong instincts and I understand what the offense wants to do. I'm an athletic guy that can keep up with fast running backs. I can beat the guy to the hole and be a good playmaker.

"I need to put on more weight and be a better player at the college level and bang with the big boys."

Aside from ASU, Burr-Kirven was also offered by Arizona (whom he visited prior to his ASU visit), Utah, Boise State, Harvard and Yale. Northwestern, Vanderbilt, and Stanford are some schools that have been showing interest and could offer once the linebacker attends this respective camps. He will also visit USC this week, and added that he perhaps will attend a few camps and combines as long as they don't interfere with his high school team's own summer preparations.

"If I feel that I found a school I'm in love with," Burr-Kirven said, "there is nothing that would stop me from committing then. So it could happen before the football season, but if I don't feel comfortable then I will wait. But whenever I'm ready I will commit.

"I'm looking for a school that has high quality of football and that I get along with the coaches. Academics are very important to me because the degree is something you have to have whenever football ends. The school I go to is somewhere I know I would feel comfortable with even if I wasn't a football player."

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