Introducing the 2004 Class: Price Wilks

It would stand to reason that a running back in the Los Angeles area that scored 25 touchdowns and rushed for nearly 2,000 yards, would be one of the most coveted prospects on the West coast. Nonetheless, Price Wilks ended a stellar senior season without a lone scholarship offer to show for. The running back told DevilsDigest that the Sun Devils were the first ones to extend him an offer, which in return was awarded with an immediate commitment.

Price Wilks, who was named to the all-C.I.F. Southern Section Division VI first-team, named several factors that caused schools to overlook him during recruiting season. "My junior year played a big part," he said. "I played in a position I didn't want to play – fullback. I couldn't put any big numbers playing in that position. I knew I was better than the starter, but he had seniority over me."

The running back's high school, Wilson, may have finished the 2003 season with a 10-3 record, but was never known as a fertile ground for Division I prospects. "My school hasn't really produced a lot of good players," commented Wilks, "and we had a couple bad years. They were a lot of other stars in my area like Patrick Fuller, so schools were probably looking at them before they were looking at me."

Arizona State may have entered the recruiting process in a later stage, but its timing ultimately proved perfect in Wilks' eyes. "I talked to Coach Osborne sometime in December after our season was over," recalled Wilks. "He showed up in my school, and told me that I had the talent to go to the next level. He said that the team was looking for some fast guys, and they liked what they saw in me. I was impressed by what he had to say to me."

Aside from ASU, UCLA, Oregon State, Cal, and Colorado were the other programs that looked at the Miramonte League offensive Most Valuable Player. Nevertheless, all failed to extend an offer as the Sun Devils did. Wilks remarked that the lack of attention was not a concern, and the interest that ASU had shown was quite satisfactory. "I knew something (scholarship offer) would come sooner or later. Coach Osborne showed that he really wanted me from the beginning. He flew to my school the next week after he met me for the first time, and asked me to visit the school. They showed a lot of interest in me."

The trip to Tempe was his only official visit, and Wilks naturally was charmed by the school and what it had to offer. "They showed me around the campus," said the ASU freshman to-be, "and it seemed like it didn't have any flaws. I loved the stadium - it was top choice. I've never seen a field like that before. The school had a lot of activities you can do if you don't want to stay in the dorms. It has a lot of shops and restaurants nearby, and it's nice to walk around there." The running back, who was hosted by Shane Jones, was offered during his visit and he in turn committed before leaving Tempe. "I accepted the Arizona State offer right off the bat, because I didn't want to be left out. It was an easy decision to make."

Wilks mentioned the hometown Bruins as the only other Pac-10 school that came close to following the Devils' suit and extending an offer. "Something fell through with UCLA," he said. "I wasn't upset that they didn't offer me or showed more attention. They were having some problems there, and I felt that ASU was the better school anyway." Even the potential of playing close to home, wasn't enough to disappoint Wilks. "It's no big deal playing out of the state. Arizona State is one hour by plane, or a six-hour drive. I think it works out better anyway."

In his senior year, Wilks was a standout player on both sides of the ball. As a running back he rushed for 1,934 yards on 283 carries (6.8 yards average). He scored 25 touchdowns and averaged 11.5 points per game. On defense, he collected 35 tackles, two interceptions (both returned for touchdowns); six quarterback sacks, seven tackles for loss and caused four fumbles. "I'm a big strong running back," said Wilks as he evaluated his abilities. "I have good speed, but I need to work on my footwork, and my cuts…(as a safety) I'm able to read offenses and adjust, and I'm a good tackler. I'm strong playing the run, but I need to work more on pass coverage."

When it comes to his chances of playing his freshman year Wilks' versatility may come in quite handy. "The coaches told me that I could play strong safety and not redshirt," he explained. "So, I could play defense for the first year or two, and then play offense. I'd prefer to play offense, but this is better than nothing. With all the running backs we have, playing safety gives me a better chance to start. Coaches haven't really discussed it that much. We'll have to see how camp goes."

Not only was Wilks one of the best football players in his league, but also his accomplishments as a sprinter were just as impressive. He was named the Miramonte League Most Valuable Track Athlete in 2003, and was crowned the league's champion for both the 100 (a personal best of 10.78) and the 200-meter (22.81). Would he like to continue his track career at ASU? "The coaches said it was OK if I do it as long as it doesn't interfere with football," he replied. "I'd like to do that. It helped me stay in shape in the off-season in high school, and it would be nice to do the same at ASU. It will help me keep my speed up."

The running back, who is academically qualified, will be in Tempe this weekend for the start of the school's bridge program. "I want to come here early to get some extra credits. I also think it's very important to come in early and go work out with the team." With all the schools that passed him over, Wilks admits that a part of him wants to show ASU's Pac-10 opponents what they could have had if they just showed more interest. However, he doesn't want to be thought as one who carries a permanent chip on his shoulder. "I don't want to play that role," he said. "I'm ready to put that aside. I don't know if that (lack of attention from other schools) is gonna motivate me. It's in the past and I'm not gonna dwell about it." With a bright future ahead of him one cannot blame him for just wanting to look ahead…

Recruit Profile


Price Wilks

High School

Wilson High School (Hacienda Heights, Calif.)







Date of Birth



Bellflower, Calif.


"I didn't have any."

Favorite TV Show

"106 & Park."

Favorite Movie

"The Waterboy."

Favorite Singer/Band


Favorite Food

"Big fat Hamburgers (smile)"

Favorite Drink


Favorite Athlete

"Eric Dickerson."

Favorite Pro Team

"Oakland Raiders."

Person you most admire

"My dad. He's responsible, hands-on, and punctual. I'm not like him, but I do want to be like him (smile)."

First Football Memory

"My first ever game ever. I was eight years old. They threw the ball high on purpose, because they didn't want me to get it. They threw it like that because they thought I'd be too afraid to catch."

One Thing most people don't know about me

"I like to dance (smile)."

Why did you choose ASU?

"They keep everybody on track with school. It's like they make school a priority over football, and they don't take grades lightly. That impressed me right there."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"If not the NFL, I want to have a degree that will help me get a good job, have a stable life, and provide for my family."

Sun Devil Source Top Stories