Junior Day Reaffirms Romero's Favorite

Even before he visited Tempe last weekend, the Sun Devils were already the school leading for John Romero's services. The Tucson Salpointe lineman told DevilsDigest that Arizona State's junior day event made even a bigger impression than any other prior visit he had to their campus.

"It changed my feelings towards ASU," said John Romero, Jr. about his trip the Valley of the Sun. "It actually made them stronger. I have a better understanding of both in-state schools, and ASU is my #1 pick so far." He doesn't hide his desire, at least for now, to stay in his hometown state. "I like to go where I'm close to my family, so they can see my games, and I can see them during the holidays. So if I'm in Tempe or Tucson it doesn't matter, because my family will still be able to see me play."

While this wasn't his first time visiting Sun Devil country, Romero did get exposed to an aspect of ASU that left him very impressed. "I liked seeing the coaches again and getting the tour of the campus again," he remarked. "I've been there many times before, but this time I got a lot more understanding about the academic program there and I really wanted to hear about it anyway. I talked a lot to Jean Boyd (head of Student-Athlete Development) during my visit. I really like how serious they take academics, how they take laptops and student-teachers on the road so they can help them with their studies…I just like how much the coaches care about their players."

The 6-5 295 Romero, who was voted to the Arizona's Republic second team 5A All-State squad, benches 385 pounds, squats 530 pounds and has a 26-inch vertical jump. "My speed is a strong point," he said of his skills, "but I do need to work on it a little more, like getting off the ball. My strength is another strong point of mine, but I can work to improve that and everything else about my game." Romero is primarily being recruited as a defensive lineman, but he did play sparingly on the offensive line as well.

Ever since last season, the state of Arizona has become a heated recruiting battleground between ASU and Arizona. Has Romero already felt the effects of this fierce competition? "Oh yeah (smile)," he exclaimed. "Every time I go to U of A they try to get me to commit, as opposed to coach Koetter who respects any decision I make. I prefer coach Koetter's approach." The Sun Devils offered Romero in the summer after his sophomore year, and were the first ones to extend him a scholarship offer. The lineman indicated that he plans to attend both ASU's and U of A's summer camps.

As with most coveted recruits, Romero is in no hurry to make a decision. "I'm gonna wait until I take my trips," he commented. "I plan visiting the in-state schools, but also take three trips to out of state schools." After all, the recruiting process hasn't worn him down. "It's crazy at times, but I do like all the attention (smile)." In that case, he'll love the nine or so months between now and signing day…

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