Christian LaValle (Tracy Pierson)

Mission Viejo teammates Christian LaValle and Jarrett Patterson like Arizona State option

A prominent Orange County program has a couple of its top players seriously eying Arizona State as a possible football destination.

Arizona State has become a strong potential suitor for Mission Viejo (California) High School 2018 teammates Christian LaValle and Jarrett Patterson

LaValle, a 6-foot-1, 220 pound linebacker, and Patterson, a 6-foot-5, 285 pound offensive tackle, are close friends. Both were offered a scholarship by the Sun Devils in the last two weeks, and it's the lone school they currently have in common on their offer lists. 

"I would love to play with [Patterson] in college," LaValle said. "I don't know if ASU is where he's leaning right now or not but we are planning to go back there together in the summer, probably in July. We were out there for junior day during the spring and we both loved it; loved the coaching staff, the facilities being built, the stadium should be done before we would get there. It was a great experience."

Patterson and LaValle each told SunDevilSource that a college commitment is possible in August, before their senior season gets underway for Mission Viejo. 

"We'd like to go together, get a personal tour more in depth, speak with the coaches more," Patterson said of a planned second ASU visit. "We are really close, like best buds. I think there's a pretty good chance we go to the same school. ASU is now pretty high on both our lists.

"We got to check out Tempe (the first time), watch practice, see how the coaches' philosophies are, then we got a tour of the inside and everything. Coach (Todd) Graham had like a powerpoint for us to watch on academics, his past coaching experience, his staff, and the new facilities that are being made. I think it's awesome. Their new facilities are going to be amazing. Coach Graham is a good coach and he's looking to win a lot of games."

ASU became the the first Power 5 offer for LaValle on May 23. He said he has also has received an offer from Air Force, Army and Navy, and he's likely taking unofficial visits this summer to TCU and Texas A&M, which have been recruiting him. 

"(Linebackers) Coach (Keith) Patterson has been my main contact at ASU," LaValle said. "I loved how he coached when we were at junior day, the way he went about it, the culture of the coaches at ASU, and I felt at home with how they were coaching. A lot of things I saw they were teaching overlapped with our high school coaching and I felt it it would make sense for me there. They also have somewhat of an old linebacker group, so there would be a chance for early playing time."

"Coach Patterson likes how I have good instincts, play fast, hit hard, use my eyes well. He said he likes how I run. We talk about other things besides football too, like family, what we're doing on the weekends. I feel like he reminds me a lot of my high school linebacker coach."

Jarrett Patterson indicated his offer list is now comprised of 19 schools, including Boise State, Cal, Connecticut, Colorado State, Duke, Iowa State, San Diego State, TCU, Utah, Utah State, Virginia, and Washington State.

"I didn't know if I'd get more than a couple," Patterson said. "It started out slow, a lot of other guys were getting more early offers. But it's almost harder now, there's a lot more decisions to make. It's really tough, especially with guys committing early."

Paterson is primarily talking with seven or eight schools and is focused mostly on programs in the West, with a couple of exceptions. He's interested in seeing ASU, Cal and TCU again, and may be ready wrap up his recruitment after that. 

"I think i'll have a pretty good idea about where i want to go by the end of summer, maybe August," Patterson said. "A lot of schools are only going to take two (offensive) tackles, so it gets tough. I want to learn as much as I can about the schools, visit them, and talk with the coaches a lot and then try to make a decision."

As is the case with LaValle, Jarrett Patterson said he felt like he got a good feel for his potential future position coach at ASU, and liked what he saw. 

"(Offensive line) Coach (Rob) Sale is intense but he gets a lot done in practice," Patterson said. "He's intense but shows a lot of positivity when you make a nice block or a good play. So that's exciting."

Both players feel like they should have a better senior season at Mission Viejo, where the team uncharacteristically lost early in the playoffs last season. 

I think we're going to be very talented, we're only losing a few guys," LaValle said. "So we have a really good shot, playing with a chip on our shoulder. Mission doesn't lose in the second round often."

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