All eyes were on Joey Ramos at Arizona State's big man competition on Tuesday.
The first 2018 offensive lineman in the state offered by the Sun Devils, Ramos understandably had the attention of ASU's coaches. But others were also keenly aware of the Deer Valley High School standout's every move.
"There was another player who came up to me from Shadow Ridge (High School) and he just told me that I was a big inspiration and how he was also going to work to become a Division I football player," Ramos said. "He looked pretty young. He said he watched me Fridays from the sidelines. That was big for me. That really showed me the impact that I can have on others and the importance of trying to be a leader and do everything the right way to the best of my ability."
A year ago, Ramos was the player competing for major scholarship offers at the same event. They eventually came in droves: Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Iowa State, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oregon, UCLA, Washington and Washington State offered, as did others. Ramos said he now has 14 in total.
Then things got a little hectic. Around late February of this year, the 6-foot-4, 295 pound Ramos became a bit stressed out by how many college coaches were jockeying for positioning in his recruitment, and the types of communication taking place around that.
"For a little while it got really overwhelming," Ramos said. "It was just really hard to handle everything. I feel like receivers are more of the types of handle all of that attention and have fun with it. I'm more of a silent person. It was just a little bit too much for a while, but when I started to talk mostly with the coaches that I'm really considering and got a better feel for everything, it became more manageable. It's a lot better now."
Having given it a lot of though, Ramos has a pretty developed strategy for how he'll approach the rest of his recruitment. He'll make a cut in the near future to approximately eight schools, then trim his list to a few schools by the time his senior season rolls around. He's already visited most of the schools that he's considering, including Arizona, ASU, Iowa State, Oregon, UCLA and Washington, most of which will make the cut.
"Even after I narrow it down, I'm going to give every school an equal opportunity," Ramos said. "I could see falling in love with a school that hasn't yet offered me, so I'm still going to be open to recruiting and new offers. But I'll probably narrow it down to three and then go from there."
Nebraska is a school Ramos hasn't been to yet unofficially that he'd like to see, be it an unofficial or official visit. In total, Ramos said he may not take more than three official visits, and would like to make a college decision by some time in November.
"Just going to try to find somewhere where it feels like home, where it feels like walking into your home locker room, everyone has the same goal, where everyone works together and it's a great team environment," Ramos said. "I'm open to a new adventure. My parents are all for my decision, willing to support me 100 percent. They'd probably like it if I went to ASU just because it's home and would be easier in some ways. For me, either way would be fine."
ASU's cycled through three offensive line coaches the last half year or so, but Ramos said it hasn't hurt the Sun Devils in the recruitment.
"I love meeting these new (ASU) coaches," he said. "Coaching can change at any time. I like them a lot, I like that (offensive line) coach (Rob) Sale is willing to learn and always trying to get better at what he's doing. I like his personality and how we get along so far."