Local Wide Receiver Has Outstanding Visit to ASU

The Sun Devil ties run deep in Brophy Prep's wide receiver B.J. Dennard and his family. Just when he thought that a visit to nearby Tempe could not impress him, his first official visit turned out to be one to remember. DevilsDigest caught up with Dennard and discussed his experiences from this past weekend.

"It was outstanding!" the receiver said about the trip. "To tell you the truth I didn't expect to be blown away. I grew up around ASU all my life. My dad and cousin (Ryan) played football there, so I thought I knew everything I pretty much needed to know. But once I got there I was blown away by the team's camaraderie."

"It was like a big family," Dennard continued. "Everybody was hanging out at the dorms. They welcomed me with open arms, like I was a teammate…especially after the season that they had, I was expecting to hear maybe complaints from the players about the coaches or about each other. But there was none of that. It seemed that they were all focused on getting better for the next season."

Dennard was taken aback by the usual visit attractions such the Sun Devils' weight room and the student lounge. But he kept on coming back to the cohesiveness on the squad as an attribute that left a deep impression on him. "All the facilities were great," he said. "But I didn't focus on that a lot. The relationship with the players is what really impressed me."

ASU offered a scholarship to the Brophy standout just three weeks ago. "Arizona offered me right after my junior year," stated Dennard. "Then Oregon State, Colorado State, Utah, Boise State all offered after that." The fact that the hometown Devils were so late to offer didn't go unnoticed by Dennard, but will also not turn into an ax he may want to grind. "It did bother me in the beginning," exclaimed Dennard, "because I was getting recruited by all these other big schools. I was wondering why ASU is here in my back yard and they haven't offered me yet? But I'm way passed that now. Who cares? Once I get on the field I'll make it happen."

One reason that Dennard is able not to hold a grudge over this matter are his feelings towards the ASU head coach. "I liked Coach Koetter since he's been there." claimed Dennard. "My cousin Ryan played for him, and thinks a great deal of him. So I have a lot of respect for him because of my cousin. I feel like I know him very well."

As mentioned, the short trip to Tempe was the first official visit for the wide receiver. Dennard said it wasn't a coincidence. "I planned for ASU to be my first visit. They're my home team. That's why I wanted to give them a shot first." However, he did make one issue very clear to all those that recruit him. "I told all the coaches that I'm gonna take all my trips."

Dennard will visit to Colorado State this weekend, which will be his last visit this month. He plans on visiting Oregon State on January 9th, and Arizona on January 16th. His fifth visit is still up in the air. "I didn't schedule anything for Utah or UCLA because I'm not sure which school I'm gonna visit."

The 6-1 180 Dennard is being recruited by the Devils as an athlete. "Coach Koetter told me that he will let me make my decision if I'm gonna start out at corner or receiver. I'd like to be a return man too." When we asked him to self assess his skills, he replied: "My game is versatile. I play corner, safety, and wide receiver. I wouldn't say it's a weak point, but I'm still learning the game. I get smarter each game I play. I want to be a student of the game."

"I play fast (Dennard was clocked running a 4.42)," continued the wide receiver. "I have great hands because I play wide receiver, and I hardly drop the ball. That helps when you play corner, because a lot or corners don't have that wide receiver ability."

When listing the factors that will influence his decision on where to play at the college level, Dennard mentions yet again the human aspect. "I'm gonna look at players relationship with the coaches," he said, "and how they get along with each other. The environment – am I gonna be able to live there for four or five years? Academics – do they have opportunities for my major?"

One aspect in his decision that cannot be overlooked in his relationship with Brophy teammate Uriah Marshall (who visited Tempe this past weekend as well). How close are the two? "We got the nickname peanut butter and jelly (smile)," said Dennard. "Doesn't get tighter than that – we complement each other in every way. We've been playing with each other for seven years. We'd like to keep on playing with each other." He added that ASU and Oregon State are the only schools that are pursuing both him and Marshall.

Even though he would like to take all his visits before verbaling to a school, his feelings towards the Sun Devils are strong as ever. "It's gonna be hard for any school to present itself like Arizona State did," exclaimed Dennard. "But I'm pretty sure I'll wait until after my last visit to decide. I'm sure I'll commit before the signing day (February). I'm gonna try not to have everyone go nuts until the last moment (smile)."

One thing that the wide receiver is crystal clear on are his family's feelings in regards to his college choice: "You can kinda tell in the back of their mind that they want me to stay home."

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