Devils Land Southern California Big Man

Craig Austin, a 6-9, 220-pound power forward from Oceanside, California has given Arizona State its second verbal commitment from the 2004 class. Austin confirmed the commitment in a conversation with Monday evening.

After visiting Arizona State for an official visit a few weeks ago, El Camino high school standout Craig Austin knew he wanted to be a Sun Devil. "After the trip out there I pretty much knew, but I didn't have an offer from them yet," Austin told on Monday evening. "On Saturday morning [Arizona State assistant] coach Pennell called and talked to me and my family and said that he knew that I wanted to go there and that they had a full scholarship to offer me. I was real happy about it and committed."

It was a fairly easy choice according to Austin, who also considered Santa Clara, considering the fact that it was always his intention to play at the highest level. "I really wanted to be able to play Pac-10 ball against teams like Arizona and UCLA and now I can do that."

Texas Tech had offered Austin a scholarship earlier in the year, but that ride filled up when Tucson Salpointe Catholic star Damir Suljagic committed to Bobby Knight and the Red Raiders in early-October. At that point, Arizona State was the remaining major conference team seriously recruiting Austin.

With this commitment, Arizona State expects to sign Austin, along with Oakland (CA) Hercules high school star Tim Pierce, who pledged the Sun Devils in early-October, to officially sign National Letters of Intent in the early signing period which begins on Wednesday, November 12. It appears the program's third available scholarship will be held over, at least until the spring signing period, which begins in April.

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