ASU lands rangy JUCO corner Rhodes

Arizona State landed a commitment from big junior college cornerback J'Marcus Rhodes almost immediately following his visit to the school this weekend.

On the day his first official visit ended, J'marcus Rhodes decided he didn't need to take any others before knowing he was ready to make a commitment.

Rhodes, a 6-foot-2, 200 pound cornerback at Kilgore Junior College in Kilgore, Texas, gave Arizona State his pledge after seeing the program in Tempe this weekend. In doing so he turned down reported scholarship offers from Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah, among others.

"I called (ASU secondary) coach (Chris) Ball and told him I'm 100 percent Arizona State," Rhodes said. "Coach Ball said I can play any position in the secondary but he wants me at the boundary (corner). Could slide over to the field sometimes when the big wide receiver needs to be locked down.

"Coach (Todd) Graham said basically whenever you come in you're going to get the opportunity to play right away. I told him thank you and your job is done and my job is to come in and do what I do that got me to ASU. I just go in there and compete. I'm going to get that spot. [ASU's success with junior college players] was icing on the cake. I sat down with him this (Sunday) morning, we had an hour and a half talk. It's a couple things that made me want to commit. First, no other head coach is going to be coaching the cornerbacks. It's the first I've ever heard of a head coach also coaching a position in practices. That's what I love about it. I'm going to be 1-on-1 with him every day. I can't wait to build a relationship. He kept it straightforward with me, it's about hard work. Most young guys would probably run away from that but I'm all with that. If that gets me better I'm down with that."

A projected December graduate, Rhodes would have two years to play two seasons at ASU. He went to SMU out of high school but left after redshirting as a freshman.

"I had a couple off the field issues at SMU but I made the decision to pick up the recruiting process again because I feel my skills got better over my redshirt year, I wanted to take a gamble, and it paid off 100 percent," Rhodes said. "I don't regret leaving SMU, I don't regret committing in the first place or anything I've done in the past. It made me what I am and got me to this place.

"I feel way more mature from the first recruiting round. I just feel more mature about the situation, the whole process. I just felt that Arizona State was the best place for me. They provide me with the best opportunity to go showcase my skills in the Pac-12. Coach Graham is going to give me the opportunity to play right away and I'm going to take advantage of it."

Rhodes is planning to have his mother move with him to the Tempe-area, and during the visit she wanted him to commit even before he was ready to.

"I fit in well with the team," Rhodes said. "I was hanging out with them all weekend. We were hanging out, playing games, talking about ASU as a whole. I just fit in. I don't try to fit in with everybody, I didn't try to fit in this weekend, but I did automatically. It felt like I was already on the team. I didn't want to leave today. I told coach Ball, I didn't want to leave. It felt like I was already part of ASU. It felt like the right thing to do."


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