Durant Talks Solidifying ASU Pledge

It’s been a long winding road for Davon Durant and his recruiting process, but one that came to an end today as the five-star Butler County (Kan.) linebacker signed his National Letter of Intent with Arizona State. We caught up with Durant to discuss his thought process during his recruitment and why ASU will be his college destination as he is set to enroll in January.

“I’m excited and happy to get all of this all behind me,” Durant said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I was sure last night. I called the (ASU) coaches and they were really excited. I’m happy with my decision. Arizona State was recruiting me for a long time and I have a great relationship with Coach (Jackie) Shipp. We always stayed in touch and he’s a guy that I could talk to about anything, not just football. He really cares about me as a person and really made me feel comfortable. That really meant a lot.

“I talked to him about a lot of personal stuff. How he grew up and just about his experience because he has been around football forever. We just talk about life honestly. Sometimes I call him to continue a (personal) conversation we had. We ask each other ‘how is your week going?’ We can talk about everything. That relationship will continue to grow.”

The 6-2 240-pound Davon Durant is the first five-star prospect that ASU has signed under third-year head coach Todd Graham. He is ranked by Scout.com as the no. 4 prospect among the 2015 junior college prospects. While he can and probably will fill the immediate need ASU has at its Devil backer position, Durant is prepared for any scenario in terms of his role.

“I’m a very versatile player,” Durant described, “and I can play any spot at linebacker. I can rush the passer and I can bring an aggressive style. They see me as a leader coming in right away, bringing excitement and that style of play to ASU.

“I will be learning all the (linebacker) spots. The more you learn the better you will do. I really like this defense because they are aggressive and really get after it. It’s hard not to be successful because they put you in the right place. That’s what my style of play is – aggressive, creating turnovers. I think I make an impact on that defense.”

Durant officially visited ASU in June. At the time it was still believed that his hometown school, South Carolina, was always leading for his services and consequently he did commit to that school two months later. Yet, in October he decided to decommit in favor of ASU. He cited at the time that he felt pressure to stay home, which led him to his decision to commit to the Gamecocks and was the same reason why he decided to change his allegiances.

One month later, ASU’s Pac-12 foe Oregon, entered the picture and Durant officially visited the Ducks.

“I felt that they were a good school,” Durant remarked, “and I definitely considered them. But I don’t think I was at a point where I was going to switch.” Durant added that his level of relationship with the Ducks’ staff wasn’t at the level he had with the Sun Devils’ coaches.

When it did appear that Oregon was becoming less of a threat to ASU’s chances to land the five-star linebacker, another formidable foe entered the Durant sweepstakes – Ole Miss.

“Coach (Tom) Allen the linebackers’ coach there was recruiting me,” Durant recalled. “But then he left. We had a good relationship, Ole Miss is a good school and it has one of the top defenses in the country. It would be crazy not to consider them because. This was a great opportunity.

“But when Coach Allen was leaving that kind of sealed the deal for me.”

Durant is a mid-year transfer who has earned his Associates’ Degree this month and is set to enroll at ASU in January 2015. There was some talk concerning the fact that the linebacker wouldn’t be able to enroll in any SEC school as a mid-year transfer, and in our interview Durant set the record straight.

“I already graduated from Butler (College) and I was going to enroll anyway in January,” Durant stated. “I didn’t worry about where people said I could enroll (in January). It wasn’t an issue for me. It’s actually harder to get into ASU because you need more credit hours. I actually had enough (credit) hours to get into South Carolina or Ole Miss.

“So ASU is the school I really wanted to go to. I will be there on January 10th. I’m excited and I’m ready to get out there and grind, man.”

Check out Scout.com’s feature on the Five-Star linebacker.

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