One Visit is All That Krula Needed

It's been an all too familiar sight in today's Football recruiting scene. Athletes are taking visits just for the sake of free room and board, endless pampering, and without any intention of ever signing with the university they just visited. And then there's offensive lineman Zach Krula who didn't quit other activities he was involved in, just for the sake of wining and dining in somebody else's penny.

"I was real involved in wrestling (Krula was a co-captain on his team), so I didn't have time to take a lot of trips." Says the former teammate of current Sun Devil Grayling Love. "ASU was the only trip I took. Because I knew I wasn't gonna take too many trips, I made sure I was visiting a school that I knew I had good chance of ending up at. I committed the day I left. Other schools backed off after they heard I committed. It was a hard decision to make so quick, but I'm glad I made it." Krula was hearing from ASU on and off early in the recruiting season. "At the end of my junior year ASU was actively recruiting me. But suddenly during my senior year the letters from ASU stop coming for a little bit, and then they started sending me a lot of stuff. I was supposed to take a trip up to Washington, but they said they didn't have any more scholarships to give. So I made a date to visit to ASU." To entice a player to visit, especially a busy athlete such as Krula, the Sun Devils had to make a significant and positive impression from day one. If you listen to the Valley High School Homecoming King that's precisely what took place: "I was so impressed by all the stuff they sent to me, and I was also impressed by the coaches. They knew my whole family by their first names and everything about them. My mother even got a Mother's Day card from Coach Koetter. These guys aren't coaches – they're family. When they visited me, they tried to get to know me as a person, not only as a Football player. That's why they got to recruit so many good players."

To say that ASU was fending off major college powerhouses for the services of Krula would be an understatement. Schools such as Washington, Nebraska, Oregon, Florida, Texas A&M, and Notre Dame were all pursuing the lineman at one point or another. According to the PrepStar honorable mention selection, ASU did more than hold its own against the competition: "I went to Nebraska's camp my sophomore year and also went to Oklahoma, but ASU's weight room was the best I've seen. It was perfect" His visit to Tempe had other memorable moments. "I got to meet a lot of players and hang out with them. Grayling Love and Chad Christensen were my hosts. They're great guys. I saw how involved the campus was. Everybody was wearing ASU stuff. I also liked it that people were different activities. It wasn't like everybody was studying or everybody was partying –there was a happy medium, and that's important to me. My mother made the trip down with me and we were both convinced that Arizona State was the place I needed to be." As mentioned Krula and Grayling Love were high school teammates, and Arizona State linebacker Ishmael Thrower also attended the Sacramento-area high school. Nevertheless, those relationships weren't a driving force in the first-team all-city selection's decision to wear the maroon and gold for the next few years. "Grayling and I are very good friends, but I never expected to automatically go to ASU. A lot of my friends went to different Pac-10 schools like Washington, USC, and Oregon. So I didn't count on going to ASU necessarily… I know Ishmael Thrower very well too, and I didn't know he was going to ASU until after I committed."

Krula, who also was a three year varsity shot putter and discus thrower, is honest is assessing his strengths and shortcomings "I got real good feet, but I have to get faster and quicker off the ball. I'm working on getting stronger, and getting the fundamentals down. In my high school offense we passed blocked a lot, so I want to work more on run blocking." Summer time will hardly be boring for this honor roll student. "I have two all-star games in the summer, the last one is July 27th. I'm gonna spend a few days at home, celebrate my birthday, and come to Tempe beginning of August." The transition from high school to college is always a significant one, especially for a teenager who'll be quite a ways from his home. Is Krula anxious about this new stage and his future at Arizona State? "My coaches told me that if I make an impact, I'll probably not redshirt. But me being so young, it's almost worth redshirting. I really want to help my team out; so I'll try hard...I'm real nervous leaving my friends and family, but college is a once in a lifetime experience. I know it will be fun, and having guys like Grayling and Ishmael there will make it even more fun. I think it will be an easy transition. Football is just what I love to do. High school was fun, but I can't play Football there anymore. So I'm ready for College, and to start playing again."

Character is often a virtue overlooked when assessing athletes. Resisting the temptation of taking all the allotted number of recruiting visits is a true testament to the make up of Zach Krula. This offensive lineman is a passionate and loyal individual, who wastes little time in acheving his goals. While patience may be a virtue, being focused on your task and working quickly to accomplish it, a la Krula, should be just as equally commended,

Name

Zach Krula

High School

Valley HS, Sacramento, CA

Position

LG (Played LG too)

Height

6-7

Weight

280

Date of Birth

7/30/84

Hometown

Bay City, TX

Nickname

"Skrula" I went to Football camp once, and I got a screw lodged into my stomach from the high jump equipment. It does bring bad memories (smile).

Favorite TV Show

Sponge Bob

Favorite Movie

Braveheart

Favorite Singer

Sublime

Favorite Food

Steak

Favorite Drink

Water

Favorite Athlete

Brendan and Kenny my high school teammates. I always looked up to them for support. They always boost me up.

Favorite Pro Team

Sacramento Kings

Person you most admire

My mom. She takes on so much, and makes time for everything. She comes to every sport I participate in. It means so much to me.

First Football Memory

It's not the earliest memory, but it's the most memorable one. My junior year in the first playoff round, we played Jesuit HS at their place. Against all odds we won that game. We just stuck together as a family.

One Thing most people don't know about me

I have a couple of friends I call my brothers. I would die for them. You would only find that out if you were in that band of brothers.

Why did you choose ASU?

I want to be a teacher, and I was really impressed by the Education department at ASU.

Where do you want to be in ten years?

If I don't make it to the NFL, I'd like to be a second or third grade teacher. I just love kids a lot. If I make it to the NFL, that's just gravy.

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