With four senior starters departing Arizona State's offensive line, coaches are understandably in pursuit of junior college players to help bolster the position group.
One such recruit ASU coaches are pursing is 6-foot-5, 290 pound Ventura College offensive tackle Tyson Rising, who spent time Wednesday with the program's offensive line coach during a visit at his school.
"I love [ASU's coaches]," Rising said. "I met coach (Chris) Thomsen this morning, he met my dad. We went over everything that we're going to do, everything I'm going to see this weekend. I like him a lot. I've never heard anyone say anything bad about him or anyone on that stuff. My coaches like the fit that they could see me in at Arizona State. It's one of those schools that stand out. I'm looking forward to seeing everybody else on the staff.
"My dad liked [Thomsen] a lot. He likes Arizona State a lot. Actually he kind of loves them, that's probably his No. 1 pick I would say."
Rising has been recruited by Thomsen and tight ends coach Chip Long for the Sun Devils. He said he's already got a good feel for the coaches but there's more to learn and see before reaching a conclusion.
"I'm looking forward to meeting the coaches and players, the guys I'm going to be around for the next couple years," Rising said. "It's going to be nice to see Tempe in person. It's going to be different than pictures. It's going to be nice to see the facilities and get the picture in the jersey. I'm just excited about seeing it for myself, I've heard a lot of great things about it."
A mid-year graduate, Rising is planning to sign with a program as soon as the Dec. 16 start of the signing period. He visited Houston last weekend, and is planning to take one more official visit next weekend but isn't sure what school that will be. Washington State is one possibility but Oregon is expected to visit Rising at Ventura Thursday and that may be his final visit if the Ducks extend a scholarship offer.
"Honestly I'm just trying to find the best fit for me with a school and an area," Rising said. "Football is only going to last so long but the ties to a school and an area will stick with you for a lifetime. If I went to Indiana for example, that's not somewhere that has a lot of ties to California. But Arizona State, I know people here in California that went there or talk about it.
"I fit their offense. They need a plug and play guy and that's what I am. My coaches have done a great job preparing me for that. I'm going through a pretty intense workout for the remainer of the time I'm here. He said I'm pretty physical, I'm a tough guy, I have some experience which they lack. He said all five of their spots are basically open so if I need to play inside at guard I could. I'm a JUCO guy so I haven't played at that level but I have some experience playing a lot here."