Highly regarded Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon offensive lineman Kanan Ray made the drive with family and running back teammate Bobby Cole to Arizona State for its Junior Day event Saturday.
"I really liked the visit," Ray said. "It was cool to be down there. I was there last year, didn't have any offers, just kind of saw the school and stuff. This time it was cool to kind of get special treatment. I got to talk to the coaches and some of the players which was good. It was cool seeing all the facilities they're putting in there, when it's done it will be second to none. They've got a lot going on."
The Sun Devils have offered Ray a scholarship, and the 6-foot-4, 275 pound lineman is getting a better feel for the program and his would-be position coach Chris Thomsen.
"[Thomsen] had come to see me once and then offered me week and a half later," Ray said. "I really like him, he's not a guy who is going to be all in your face a lot of the time like other offensive line coaches. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that or anything, there's different techniques as far as coaching but I like the way he does things. I asked (ASU freshman) Zach Robertson and other players how he is, and they told me and I really like him. We talk on the phone and everything too, I feel like I have a great relationship already with him.
"The visit definitely helped ASU. I didn't know too much about the program as a whole and now I do. So that definitely helped a lot for them and helped a lot for me too. They're one of the schools at the top of my list. I'm going to see other schools this spring and then see how all that goes too."
Ray grew up a fan of Tennessee, with his dad's family from that area. He reported a scholarship offer from Tennessee but isn't sure how he fits him. Arizona, Cal, Louisville, Oregon State, Texas A&M, UCLA, Utah, Washington State and others have also reportedly extended a scholarship offer.
"I'm going to be taking some visits," Ray said. "UCLA this week. Then I get two weeks for spring break so I think we are taking a road trip. Cal, Oregon State, Oregon maybe if they offer, Washington State, Washington, Boise State, Utah, Colorado, maybe Arizona. Then I'm flying to Tennessee for their spring game. Texas A&M offered, that was big so I'd like to get there at some point."
A versatile talent, Ray said he is the tallest player on his high school offensive line and plays tackle, but college coaches have told them they like that he can play multiple positions.
"I'm a nice guy off the field but I'm a big nasty offensive linemen on the field," Ray said. "I just get after it on the field, I'll drive people, sometimes after the play. But I was never a lineman until high school. I"m still athletic for my size. I just put on weight. I started as a freshman at 200 pounds and I'm now 275. I was always athletic, just now I'm athletic and even bigger. That's what a lot of coaches like, and my feet too."