Florida Defensive End Enjoys ASU's Home Visit

It will be a very busy January for Mike Blanc. With only one visit in the books, the Deerfield Beach (Fla.) star will have three official trips this month, with a possibility for a fourth. Arizona State is currently his last scheduled visit, and on Tuesday night he hosted ASU defensive coordinator Bill Miller. Devils Digest sat down with Blanc to discuss his recruitment with the Sun Devils.

"I'm really enjoying my recruitment with Arizona State," said the 6-4 265 Mike Blanc. "I have a great recruiting coach in Bill Miller and all the all other coaches from the other schools that have been recruiting me have nothing but good things to say about him. He's a straight forward guy. His visit here in my house went great and he got to meet my family for the first time. I'm really looking forward to taking my visit up there to Arizona State."

The Sun Devil defensive coordinator has already landed a pair of players from the sunshine state, and if there were any apprehensions from Blanc and his family about playing far from home, they are now a moot issue. "Coach Miller really stressed that the university will take care of me if I do go there," Blanc stated. "He answered all the questions my parents had about playing far away from home. My Mom told him that wherever I play will be up to me. She's just grateful that I'll be able to get a free education. She doesn't care how far from home I need to go for that."

The defensive end's first visit was to Rutgers, and that coupled with the fact that he's also being recruited by ASU had him watching the Insight Bowl with strong interest. "Man, I watched the whole game," he remarked. "A player from my school (Patrick Nemorin) committed to Rutgers and him and I were arguing who was gonna win that game. I picked ASU (laughs). I told him that straight up. That was the second best bowl game behind the Orange Bowl (this interview was conducted prior to the Rose Bowl). Man, that was a close game, but Arizona State made the big plays in the end."

Post-season play is something that Blanc does cherish and would like that to be a part of his college experience. "I want to go to a school that actually goes to bowl games and wins them," he explained. "Arizona State has a wonderful history with bowl games, and they won their last two. I know when a team makes it to a bowl game they get treated real well (by the bowl committee) and get all kind of cool presents. I like that (smile)."

Blanc will trip to Michigan State this week, followed by visits to Auburn and ASU. And what about a possible fifth visit the last week of January? "I have one week open, and a lot of schools are fighting to get me to visit then. I might visit the University of Miami that weekend. We'll see…"

Like may high school players, Blanc lined up on both sides of the ball (offensive lineman being his other position). Being recruited as a defensive end does suit him quite well. "I'm gonna play in the Dade-Broward All-Star game on the 15th and they have me playing that position," he said. "I enjoy playing at defensive end and just showing the whole package and my skills. It's real fun and I'm working hard."

Many high school stars can develop bad habits, especially when their part of a successful team and are recruited by schools from major conferences. Mike Blanc is surely an exception to that trend. "I like to work out and prepare myself mentally and physically for the game," he explained. "I'm real focused the day before the game, and I have visions of myself and the plays I need to make. My coach says that the game is 90% mental and NFL players say that too. I work hard in the off-season too in the weight room and also learning the game."

The recruiting journey for Mike Blanc is guaranteed to be a fast paced one the next four weeks. Thus, what factors will sway him to choose one school over the others? "Where I feel the most comfortable and where I fit in," he replied. "All the schools recruiting me are great universities and have great programs. When I take my visits, I'll see how it is when I meet all the coaches, the players…see if the atmosphere is city-like or country-like."

"I really want to bond with the people on my team," Blanc continued. "When I talk to players that are playing college football now, they tell me that I shouldn't go for the big name school. You have to get that gut instinct if this is where you want to be for 4-5 years – that's what it's all about. I'll have to pray a lot about it, because it will be one of the biggest decisions of my life."

Blanc is already academically qualified. The Bucks of Deerfield Beach finished the season at 8-4 and lost in the 6A state championship game.

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