Commitment Q&A: J'Marcus Rhodes

Arizona State's latest 2016 commit, J'Marcus Rhodes, is a 6-foot-2, 200 pound cornerback who is expected to graduate from Kilgore (Texas) Junior College in December and have two years to play two seasons. He spoke with us in depth about his decision to pledge the Sun Devils.

Chris Karpman: You just finished your first official visit today, to ASU, and decided to commit the same day. What led to that?

J'marcus Rhodes: "He (ASU coach Todd Graham) just laid it all on the table. No other head coach has offered more than coach Graham. No other coach has offered as much as the ASU staff has offered me so far. I love the players, I love the community, everything about Arizona State has me locked me."

Karpman: When you say he offered more than any other coach, can you explain what you mean by that?

Rhodes: "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 (starting) 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.

Karpman: How did you feel about the culture of the program and what impact did it have of your decision, if any?

Rhodes: "I fit in well with the team. 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 (secondary) coach (Chris) Ball, I didn't want to leave. It felt like I was already part of ASU. It felt like the right thing to do."

Karpman: You're 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, which is rare for a cornerback. Was that talked about with ASU as far as recruiting you and if so, how?

Rhodes: "Yes sir. I'm big and physical and that's what they love about me and that's what I can't wait to go out and do on the big stage."

Karpman: You reported offers from some pretty big name programs including Oklahoma and Missouri. Why did you want to commit without taking any other official visits first?

Rhodes: "I had some offers from some pretty big schools. From what I've seen and heard from every coach who has been hitting me on twitter though the recruiting process, Arizona State has been on me the hardest, every coach on their staff I know and they all probably hit me once a week and I'm big on that, I'm big on family. If they make me feel like family I'm going to embrace it."

Karpman: Your mother was with you on the ASU visit, what did she think about it?

Rhodes: "My mom loves it, she wanted me to commit probably a couple days ago when I first got there. She's so excited, she gets to move out there. I told here I want her to move with me, I'm not bashful with me, I love my mom to death. I want here at the games. I want her to see every game because you never know when your last one is coming up."

Karpman: You were a two-way player in high school who went to SMU and were maybe going to play wide receiver but left after a (redshirt) year. What happened there?

Rhodes: "I had a couple off the field issues at SMU but once 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. 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."

Karpman: ASU's top three corners this spring are all seniors. Did they talk about that in the recruiting process and how much did looking at the depth chart have to do with your decision?

Rhodes: "They are graduating five defensive backs and coach Ball told me he could help me out a lot. The other teams offering me aren't losing that many defensive backs and no other staff has the coaching staff of ASU. I'm done with the recruiting process, I'm 100 percent to ASU. I'm done with everything. I'm not taking visits, coaches have been calling me as we speak, I'm just done with the recruiting process. I was trying to set up visits last week with my top three schools and ASU was the only one I set up a visit with and everything happens with a reason. I just feel like this was the best decision for me."

Karpman: Where do you think you're at in the process of developing into the corner you are trying to eventually be?

Rhodes: "I'm coming alone. I'm learning fast. I'm a fast learner when it comes to football but I learn something new about corner every day. I love the challenge corner has to offer. I've played both sides of the ball and love offense as well but receiver isn't like corner, at least not to me. There's just something about defense. It has so much to offer. You know what play is coming on offense so it's kind of boring. On defense there is something new every play. That's what I love, I love the position I play. I love the challenge it brings. I love competition. That's all me. I love to compete."


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