Bingham Brings ‘Mean Streak' To the Offensive Line

When you think of attributes an offensive lineman should have, the first one that comes to mind is strength. You may throw in skills like quickness or intelligence too. However, one intangible that sometimes gets overlooked is aggressiveness – a characteristic that incoming freshman Jake Bingham has an abundance of.

How aggressive is the PrepStar all-American? Just ask his high school coach Chris Caminiti. "I'm not exaggerating when I say that 75 percent of Jacob's run blocks were pancakes." Says the Granite Hills coach. "He'd just drive the initial man into the ground. He's the most aggressive player I've ever seen." For Bingham being forceful is an integral component of his play. "I think that being aggressive and intimidating is a big part of my game." Says the offensive lineman. "My whole demeanor changes when I step on the field. It just has to be that way for me to be on top of my game. It's not like I have built-in aggression that I have to let lose. I just have a switch in me that I can turn my mean streak on and off."

While Bingham was well sought after during his high school career, he really didn't pay much attention to recruiting until his last season in high school. "My junior year ASU was always on top of things sending me letters and other stuff. They always let me know what was going on. But in my junior year my focus was more on high school Football. I didn't learn much about ASU back then, but once the coaches could start talking with me, I met with coach Fidler who was the recruiting coach for this area. My senior year I started narrowing down to three schools, which was ASU one of them. Colorado and Nebraska were the other two." There were many factors that influenced his decision to be a Sun Devil. "I liked the location, the area, and everything about the school. When I visited ASU it was kinda quiet because it was Thanksgiving weekend, but I had a great time. I liked how modern and how big it was. The facilities impressed me a lot. ASU did have the better weight room compared to Nebraska... My host player was Riccardo Carlos. I liked him a lot. All the coaches were great. I liked coach Grimes a lot. He's a real classy and calm guy. I think him and I will get along real well. If I didn't feel comfortable with my position coach, I wouldn't be going to that school."

Like several of ASU's 2002 recruits, the Sun Devil coaches were sweating out Bingham's decision until the last few days before the February 6th signing day. The heated race for his services was between ASU and its first opponent this season – Nebraska. Bingham recalls those hectic days: "I felt real comfortable with ASU. I liked everything about Nebraska, but I just felt that if I went there, it was just because they were Nebraska. If I had to narrow it down to one thing, it was probably because I wasn't ready to move that far from home." Much has been written lately about the number of ASU players that get drafted by the pros. However that aspect wasn't one that necessarily attracted the Granite Hills standout to Tempe. "The fact that ASU places a lot of players in the pros didn't weight heavy in my decision. But that's great that they can place a lot of players in the pros. The more guys the merrier." Nevertheless, Bingham is fully aware of the six other offensive linemen that were in his recruiting class, and the possible implications on his paying time. "All the offensive linemen they recruited will make me work harder to get a spot. But you have to work hard no matter what the situation is. I have enough confidence in myself that I think I can go out there and do a good job. I think that ASU is also confident in my abilities too."

When Bingham lists his skills he says: "Run blocking is one of my biggest strengths. I'm quick enough off the ball. I need to work on my 40 time (very humble considering that he runs it in 5.0 seconds.), and maybe get it down to a 4.7. I need to have quicker feet, which kinda goes hand in hand with being faster. Overall, I think everyone can get faster and stronger." Bingham also bench presses 400 pounds. The Granite Hills product does plan to participate in the off-season workouts, but hasn't finalized a date of arrival to campus yet. Coach Caminiti is convinced that his lineman will flourish at ASU. "There's no doubt he'll be a big-time lineman in college." And while Bingham does nothing to contradict that, he's realistic about his chances: "I'm confident that I can contribute right away, but I understand that redshirting is part of the maturation process."

In recent years, some ASU fans have been complaining about an underachieving offensive line. While it's hard to single out a particular reason for that performance, suffice that say that ferociousness hasn't been a strong staple of this unit for a while. Recruiting players in the mold of Jake Bingham can go a long ways in reversing that perception. And when this lineman starts displaying his mean streak on Saturdays, the Sun Devil faithful may start throwing pancakes rather than tortillas on the field.

Recruit Profile

Name

Jake Bingham

High School

Granite Hills HS, El Cajon, CA

Position

RG

Height

6-5

Weight

300

Date of Birth

5/14/84

Hometown

El Cajon, CA

Nickname

Just Jake

Favorite TV Show

The Osbournes

Favorite Movie

Goodfellas

Favorite Singer

Pink Floyd

Favorite Food

Steak

Favorite Drink

Gatorade

Favorite Athlete

Tony Boseli

Favorite Pro Team

San Diego Chargers

Person you most admire

My old high school coach Mitch Burton. He was always there for me. He was always there looking out for me, and helping me with any problems I would have.

First Football Memory

My sophomore year I just made varsity. We're supposed to play Mira Mesa HS, and I'd been on the team for only three days. I was playing offensive tackle, and I went against a defensive tackle who was All-American. I was kinda intimated, but he never made a tackle when I played him.

One Thing most people don't know about me

I don't brag about my recognitions, so people are surprised when I talk about all the awards I won.

Why did you choose ASU?

The security of the coaches. They just got there, and they'll be there for a while.

Where do you want to be in ten years?

Hopefully in the NFL. If that doesn't work, I'd like to own my business and be a head of a corporation.

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