A Funny Thing Happened On The Recruiting Visit

ASU had its share of bad luck and frustration during the 2002 recruiting season. Much alike the rest of the Pac-10, the Sun Devils have endured decommitments, and close calls. However, the recruiting story of Ishmael Thrower is one where nothing but good luck and good timing were involved.

So how did the defensive end land at ASU? It all started when defensive line coach Ted Monachino came to Sacramento City College to recruit defensive tackle Shane Jones. "He wasn't looking for a JC defensive End," Recalls Thrower, "When coach Monachino was looking at game film of Shane, he saw me making plays. It just stuck with him. He went to talk to coach Koetter, and he told him to go ahead and recruit me. They offered both of us in the same week." Other schools that were recruiting Thrower were Oregon State, Missouri, U of A, Utah, UNLV, and Fresno State.

Thrower, who made JCFootball.com Top 101 players, said that coach Monachino was straight forward with him during the recruiting process: "First time I met him personally, he came across down to earth. He wasn't being all flashy and stuff. He was just who he was. He told me that defensive end wasn't something they didn't want; it was just something they weren't really looking for at the time. But when he saw me, he said he knew I could help out with my athleticism (Thrower runs a 4.5). The way I play is what got me recruited." If Thrower were to start on defense he will line up at one end, opposite Terrell Suggs, one of the conference sack leaders last year. The junior college transfer is very much looking forward to that opportunity. "I heard about Terrell Suggs from the coaches, and I saw Suggs play in person and on TV. He's an awesome player, he's real tight. I think him and I will make a good team. If he gets doubled teamed, I can make plays."

Thrower is one of five mid-year transfers who are already enrolled at ASU. While he does feel home sick, he is enjoying life in Tempe. "So far it's been cool. It's kinda weird getting adjusted to being on your own; I'm very close to my family. That has been an adjustment. But campus, and classes are cool. I really like the workouts, and I think that will give me leverage for when the season comes. It's been fun so far, and it will only get better from here."

The saying "timing is everything" certainly applies in Ishmael Thrower's story. While defensive end was not a pressing need recruiting wise, getting a talented pass rusher like the ex- Sacramento City College player, can only bolster what has been (aside from Suggs) a sub par group of returning defensive ends. If the Sun Devils' defense is to improve in the 2002 season, Thrower's play on the field will likely be a significant reason for that resurgence. If that were to happen, ASU's fortunate "recruiting accident" could then be classified as a sign of destiny.

Recruit Profile Name

Ishmael Thrower


Sacramento City Community College, CA







Date of Birth



Vallejo, CA


Big Ish

Favorite TV Show


Favorite Movie

Nutty Professor

Favorite Singer

Jill Scott

Favorite Food

Any Kind Of Soul Food

Favorite Drink

Mango Tampico Juice

Favorite Athlete

My Dad Arnold Thrower. He Played For the A's And the Cardinals.

Favorite Pro Team

New Orleans Saints

Person you most admire

My Dad. He's been there for me. He showed me everything I know about athletics. I owe a lot of my success to the way he brought me up.

First Football Memory

Chipping my two front teeth. During a drill I had to carry this big bar, and I busted my teeth on it.

One Thing most people don't know about me

I'm laid back off the field, but I have a lot of energy playing on the field.

Why did you choose ASU?

The way I was recruited by coach Monachino. He came real. He wasn't beating around the bush. We clicked right away. My family liked him too. I never clicked with any coach like Monachino.

Where do you want to be in ten years?

If I don't make it to an NFL, I want to be in a successful job or a pastor of a church with a family.

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