Introducing the 2004 Class: Andrew Pettes

Athletes say they thrive on competition. However, when it comes to recruiting, a player's interest in a team can easily be affected by the quality of the depth chart at his position. Therefore, many were surprised that Andrew Pettes verbaled to ASU only a couple days after fellow tight end prospect Zach Miller did the same. The local Moon Valley high school standout talks about his decision that led the Sun Devils to having arguably the nation's best tight end recruiting class in 2004.

"The coaches always asked me if Zach Miller would come to ASU, if that would affect my decision," recalled Andrew Pettes who was rated as an all-American selection in the postseason by SuperPrep Magazine. "I told ASU that if I coming there, then I'm coming whether Zach Miller commits or not. I didn't mind because they were going to play the two tight end set. I'm ready to compete with Zach Miller. It's gonna be a good situation because we'll push each other. I'm happy he's on my team because he's a very good player, and it's better to have talent on your team than not."

Pettes said that the only thing that Miller's decision affected, was the schedule of it. "I did kind of time my decision so he commits first," admitted the Phoenix Metro Football Magazine's 4A first-team all offense member. "I didn't talk to him, so I didn't know if me coming to ASU would affect him, but I know that him coming to ASU wouldn't matter to me. So, I let him make his decision first."

"I thought he was going to Miami," Pettes continued. "When he said he was going to ASU, everybody assumed that I was going to Oregon, and I told them that wasn't true. After he (Miller) committed to ASU I was getting a lot of phone calls that day. They were all saying ‘now that Zach Miller committed come to our school and you'll be the #1 guy.'… The morning of my decision I told my mom I'm coming to ASU. She was shocked and said ‘what about Zach Miller?' I said don't worry about it (smile)."

It was his sophomore year when the tight end first met with a Sun Devil coach. Oddly enough the discussion that took place was centered on the other side of the ball. "Coach Nordquist and I were actually talking about defense and my skills," explained Pettes. "I was just playing linebacker back then. Playing tight end really came out of nowhere. In my junior year, we didn't have any receivers on our team, and I asked my coach if I could play at receiver. I him that I could catch the ball. He tried me out one game, and I did a good job. From then on I was playing tight end and I loved it." Pettes added that he wouldn't mind playing linebacker in a pinch, but overall he realizes that "I can do bigger things on offense."

The Arizona Republic's and the Arizona Football Coaches Association's first-team selection said that it was actually ASU's archrival that was the first to offer a scholarship. "They recruited me hard in the begining," he said. "Then they kind of fell off when they had the coaching change. When the new coach came they started recruiting me hard again, but I told them that the only two teams I'm considering are ASU and Oregon." Like many other Phoenix area players, he was encountering many people that were trying to influence him to attend one Grand Canyon State school over the other. Pettes remarked that he was extremely indifferent to all of this. "The (ASU – U of A) rivalry isn't big to me – my rivalry is Greenway high school (smile). I had a lot of people I knew that were ASU and U of A fans, and they would talk about where I should go. But it didn't impact my decision one way or the other."

What actually did influence Pettes was the overall early recruiting attention he received. Nevertheless, the effect it had was somewhat unique in nature. "It didn't do much to my confidence," he commented. "But it gave me reason to start performing and realize that I have a chance at a free education. I never thought about playing football in college until the end of my junior year. When I got a lot of phone calls and letters from coaches, I realized that I was good enough to play football in college." Additionally, the tight end was also motivated to excel in the classroom and as a result is academically qualified.

The incoming ASU freshman said that the reason he was drawn to the Sun Devils and Ducks was their tight-end friendly offensive schemes. Needless to say that ASU's new double tight end offense was also an attractive aspect that influenced his decision. "The two offenses are pretty much doing the same things as far as the tight end involvement," said Pettes. "Actually, those two schools involve the tight end much more than the other colleges I talked to. I knew it would come down to these two, because they're both doing something I wanted to do… ASU didn't talk about the two tight end set until my senior year. When they were recruiting me they kept on mentioning that."

Personal relationships with coaches are never a factor that can be overlooked in one's decision where to attend school. Sure enough, the tight end's relationship with his position coach was a positive one early on. "I really connected with Coach Osborne," stated Pettes. "Before I made my decision I wanted to make sure that I'll have a coach I can respect and that he will push me to be the best I can be. I watched him coach, and talked to him a lot, and I felt real comfortable. He was definitely a big part of my decision."

While there were many positive dynamics that worked in ASU's favor, one would think that the underachieving 2003 season would serve as a major detractor, especially to a local recruit that attended virtually all the home games that year. Surprisingly, Pettes begs to differ. "It seems crazy, but for me it was almost like a turn-on," he exclaimed. "If a team is struggling one year, and I have the chance to come in the next year and help it – that's the best feeling in the world. It excites me to know that I have an opportunity to help bring the team up."

At Moon Valley, Pettes did shine on defense amassing a career 237 total tackles, 38 tackles for loss, 18 quarterback sacks, 15 pass deflections, 14 fumble recoveries, eight forced fumbles, two blocked kicks and three touchdowns scored. Naturally, his production at tight end, which included 44 passes for 635 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior, is what brought him the plethora of lofty accolades. "My strong point is definitely my receiving," said Moon Valley's all-time leader in career receiving yards. "I know how to get in the open in the field and catch the ball, and get yards after the catch. That comes natural to me, and I always knew I could do that. I have been working a lot on my blocking, and coming out aggressive. I got a lot better in it, but I know that in college everyone is bigger and faster, so I have to improve."

The tight end was selected for the 4A-5A All-Star Game, which will be played on June 5th. (Pettes will play for the north squad). The following week, Pettes plans to participate in the team's off-season conditioning program. "I'm definitely looking forward to it. I want to be a good player in my freshman year – I don't want to redshirt. Anything I can do to get prepared, I'm excited for it." He added that he got no indication that would lead him to believe that he's guaranteed to play in his freshman year. "Coaches told me that everybody will get an equal chance and the best players will play. I think that's the way it should be."

Sun Devils fans take much pride in the large number of local players donning the maroon and gold these days. Pettes suggests that those sentiments aren't exclusive to the program's followers. "I think about it all the time," he exclaimed. "I see Kyle Caldwell and I played against him my sophomore year, I played against Randy Hill, and all those guys are at ASU. In the past, I would think ‘why are these guys going in-state when they can go out-of-state?' But I understand that playing for the hometown, people knowing you…makes it all better when you go to ASU."

Recruit Profile


Andrew Pettes

High School

Moon Valley HS (Phoenix, Ariz.)







Date of Birth



Phoenix, AZ


"People just called me Pettes."

Favorite TV Show

"The Simpsons."

Favorite Movie

"Any of the Die-Hard Movies."

Favorite Singer/Band

Erykah Badu

Favorite Food


Favorite Drink


Favorite Athlete

"Shaquille O'Neal"

Favorite Pro Team

"Orlando Magic and Pittsburgh Steelers "

Person you most admire

"My mother. She works very hard, and never complains. She does a lot of things that you'll never find out unless you'll find out from someone else, because she won't tell you."

First Football Memory

"I didn't start playing until my freshman year. But I remember my cousin Daryl playing in Pop Warner. He was the quarterback, and he was a good player. I was too heavy to play Pop Warner (smile). I couldn't wait until I got to high school to play football. "

One Thing most people don't know about me

"I do a lot for my team that you'll maybe not know. I sacrifice a lot to help somebody out. I don't put myself first."

Why did you choose ASU?

"Being close to home. I know my mom wants to see me play."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"I want to own a business. Probably a restaurant."

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