Phoenix North Canyon boasted the state's top-ranked 2017 prospect, offensive lineman Austin Jackson. It may also have in its coffers the state's top 2018 recruit, wide receiver Solomon Enis.
A 6-foot-3, 210-pounder, Enis is the son of legendary former Penn State and NFL running back Curtis Enis. Solomon, too, played running back. He just happened to outgrow the position. Now he's one of the most highly regarded players in the West at wideout.
Enis had 64 catches for 1,144 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior at North Canyon. He's reportedly collected scholarship offers from Arizona State, Arizona, Duke, UCLA, Utah and Vanderbilt. He is also being recruited by other programs, including USC, which signed Jackson earlier this month.
Recently Enis visited ASU for a junior day event. He's no stranger to the campus, having familiarized himself with the Sun Devils on several previous trips. Nevertheless, this one was perhaps the most valuable in some respects.
"I thought it was amazing to be honest," Enis said. "It was a good experience. I understood where they come from with football but academically they're up there and it actually stood out to me and my family. It's definitely a step in the right direction. I've been there four times I think. Last summer, two games (in 2016) and the junior day."
The Sun Devils have a largely rebuilt coaching staff on offense, which provided Enis with an opportunity to put some names to faces. He got a better sense for the personalities of newcomers to ASU and also how they see him as a prospect. But most importantly, he came to have a better feeling for how he'd fit in culturally, and that yielded high marks.
"It was a family atmosphere," Enis said. "Even with a (largely) news staff, I felt comfortable there. It was a good environment. Even thought I hadn't seen them in a bit, it was comfortable. I talked with the new wide receivers coach Rob Likens a lot and then (Assistant Athletic Director for Recruiting) Donnie Yantis. We just spoke with them a lot and went around and saw everything. I saw (ASU head coach) Todd Graham a little bit and talked with him and he's a cool guy, as always."
Enis said he's used to coaching change, having experienced three high school head coaches already at North Canyon. But continuity matters to him projecting to the college level and something he'd like to see at ASU moving forward.
"I'm used to the change at this point, but what they're saying and how they're handling themselves, it's all pretty comfortable," Enis said. "It's no different to me. Stability with the coaches is good though. Academics no doubt, that's very important. So is feeling comfortable, like a second home. I want to be comfortable so I can play to my best and hopefully do well as a freshman."
Some of the massive infrastructural changes taking place at ASU appealed to Enis and other recruits on the visit, he said. As the players got a tour around the athletic department, a sense of what the future would look like following the completion of the Sun Devil Stadium reinvention in 2018 and Student Athletic Facility that will house football beginning this fall became clearer.
"They showed us drawing board of what the facility is going to look like," Enis said. "They took us around the stadium and compared it to what the new facilities will be. We walked around the weight room and equipment room, all the basic stuff there. Nothing really different but now that I got to see how they're going to do the new facilities, that was good. They said they are really pushing toward what the 18 to 22 year olds love to see, like the ice pool, the locker rooms, all the TVs in the lounge. Coach Graham's favorite team is the (Dallas) Cowboys, so like how the lockers are going to be like the Cowboys and when they come onto the field they'll have the glass sides so people can stand there and watch them run out. That's pretty cool as well."
Enis said he's going to be taking unofficial visits to UCLA and USC in the near future and camping at Under Armour and elsewhere. He grew up rooting for Oregon due to its uniforms and other branding combined with its success, but said he currently doesn't have a program he is a fan of above others.
"I don't really have a favorite school now," Enis said. "I'm just going to go through the process of being recruited and figure out what I'm really looking for and where I feel the most comfortable."