Devils Land a Pair of Big Men

Last weekend was a fruitful one for the Sun Devils. Defensive end Dewayne Hollyfield from L.A. Harbor junior college and offensive linemen Jonathan Lehman from Giddings (TX) high school committed to ASU at the end of their visit. DevilsDigest talked to both about their decision.

The 6-4 275 Hollyfield was very impressed by the Sun Devil hospitality. Then again, his good vibes about ASU started a while beforehand. "Once I got there," he said, "I said ‘this is it!' I was amazed. I was speechless (smile). I was ready to commit the minute I got there."

"The people were real nice," the defensive end continued. "The players made me feel comfortable. They made feel like I was an asset to the team because they need defensive linemen. Connor Banks was my host, and he was real cool to hang out with. The coaches made me very comfortable too."

Like many other recruits tripping to Tempe, Hollyfield was impressed with the ASU facilities. Nevertheless, judging by his words it would appear that the university's academics were one of the main highlights of his visit. "Their academic advisers want the best for the players on and off the field," remarked Hollyfield. "They are very serious about it, they give you a whole schedule, but they also say how much self- discipline is important. You need to go to class, take care of business, and get your degree."

Prior to the Sun Devils entering the recruiting picture, Lafayette and Rutgers were the two schools seriously pursuing the L.A. Harbor standout. Hollyfield didn't despair, and always believed that he was destined for bigger things. "I knew I was the kind of player that needed more than they (Lafayette and Rutgers) had to offer," he said. "I felt that there was always a bigger program out there for me. I'm happy that ASU came along."

"They (ASU) came a little bit late," Hollyfield continued. "But they came in on time (smile). I wanted to go to a Pac-10 school, and the way things were going I wasn't sure if I was gonna go. I was talking to Washington. They called me pretty early, but they started to (seriously) recruit me late. I wanted to make a decision before the (LOI) deadline. When Arizona State started recruited me, I said ‘man, they're a Pac-10 school. That's where I want to go.' So I decided to commit to them."

Hollyfield is a true physical specimen. He runs a 4.7, and actually started his junior college career at tight end. Once his team's defensive line was decimated by injuries, he volunteered to play on that unit. He does realize that it's rare for some of his stature to play defensive end rather than tackle. However, he's not locked on one position or another. "God gave me this gift and I'm using it," he stated. "ASU said I can play either position. They just want the best four defensive linemen out there. I want to play end, but if we need help at tackle I'll play there too."

The defensive end is a May graduate. He said that he needed just ten more credits for his AA degree, and feels like he can get the grades to qualify.

Offensive Lineman Jonathan Lehman is a 6-foot-4 266-pound player who hails from the small town of Giddings, TX. Thus, recruiting never came easily for him. Some self-promoting was needed to open the Sun Devils' eyes, and ultimately lead to his verbal. "Giddings is a small town an hour from Austin," he said. "It's hard to get noticed here. I sent a tape to ASU and other schools. My high school coach and (ASU's OL) coach Grimes are close friends. So when they saw my tape they started recruiting me."

Lehman fell in love with the school's facilities, and the academics that it has to offer. However, it may have been his host player who left the deepest impression. "Having Andrew Carnahan as my host was good," said Lehman. "Just like me he's a Texas kid, so I could really relate to him. I have tons of respect towards him, and he's great player. I had so much fun at ASU I didn't wanna go home (smile)."

The Giddings standout portrays himself as a good run blocker who "Likes to knock people over." Lehman picked ASU over Kansas.

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