Bailey Faces Stiff Battle For Playing Time

Every high school superstar knows that his accolades can mean very little when it comes to playing in College. Furthermore, seeing game action can be scarce if the player you're trying to replace is a young prominent player in his own right. If free safety Andre Bailey will see extensive playing time at his position, he will have to outseat ASU's leading tackler Jason Shivers. Mission impossible? Not necessarily according to the one of the top high school players in Arizona.

"Jason Shivers came in his first year and represented." Says Bailey. "I'm gonna play my best, and If I can play as well as he does, then I'll be playing a lot. But he's one of the best defensive backs in the Pac-10, so it's not gonna be easy. He's a great player, and if I can beat him for a starting position then I guess I really deserve to play." It wouldn't be too unreasonable to expect Bailey to be playing, even sparingly, as a true freshman. His list of honors include: PrepStar all-American, the No. 10 Athlete (position) on the West Coast by the same publication, and an honorable mention in the Arizona Republic's all-Arizona team. The fact that the Sun Devils employ a 4-2-5 defensive scheme, always increases the chances of playing time for safeties. "Playing as a safety and a true freshman, I knew my chances were better playing in a three safety system like ASU's. I think I can play right away, but I also know that I have to show it on the field. If I do my best and outplay other players, I'll be fine. I know that a lot of the other safeties are good, but I know I can compete with them too."

Playing at McClintock high school, located roughly five miles from the ASU campus, Bailey's talents were hardly a secret to the Sun Devils. However, a junior season which saw him play only six games, didn't cause the ASU coaches to be pouncing on the safety's door early in the recruiting season. "ASU didn't get to see me much my junior year, because I was injured and played in only a few games. (Bailey played in six games, and had six interceptions) So last summer they told me that they were gonna follow me my senior year, and see if I can bring it. I showed them what I had, and they offered me a scholarship after my third game." Other schools who were heavily recruiting the safety were Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Colorado State, and Missouri. Being able to play where he grew up, and having the support of his family, was too strong of a notion to deny. "I knew I wanted to stay close home, but I was open to see what the other schools were all about…but in the end I really wanted to stay close to my family. I want them to be there at my home games."

The safety's desire to play for the Sun Devils, made for what some would call a "boring" recruiting process, since Bailey took only one official visit. Even though ASU may have been already an easy sell for his services, that didn't diminish the good feeling that the three-year letter winner in football had on his visit. "ASU was my only visit. I want to study business, and ASU has a very good business school. So why should I go somewhere else? Brandon Faulkner was my host player. The players on the visit were great. They treated me like one of them. They were real open. The coaches showed me much love, and I liked them. I liked the weight room and the facilities a lot. It just seemed that everything was very organized and outlined." It has been made public on several occasions that Bailey and fellow high teammate and ASU signee Randy Hill will commit to the same school. While Bailey committed at the end of his visit (on a Sunday), Randy Hill waited later that week to do the same. Were the two truly always a package deal? "I guess you can say that we were a package deal." Acknowledges Bailey. "Him and I had the same top three schools we wanted to go to. We knew that we wanted to pick a school where we both have a good chance of playing. We knew that we both had a chance to succeed at ASU. I knew right after my visit that I wanted to commit, but I guess Randy needed a few days. I'm happy that we're both going to the same school. It will make the transition easier, and we'll push each other to play hard."

Aside from being a top notch Football player, Bailey lettered four times in basketball (two-time school MVP, and a member of Tempe's all-Tournament team in 2000 and 2001), as well as track and field (where he was part of his high school's state champions 400m relay team). When we asked him if he plans to pursue both sports during college, he replied: "I'm done with track (smile). Basketball is definitely in the back of mind. Maybe I'm gonna try and walk on. I'm friendly with Donnell Knight and Tommy Smith, and they said it would be cool if I played with them. I just have to see how it goes with Football first." Right now, Bailey plans to concentrate on the team's off-season workouts. "I'm gonna start working with the team this summer. It so close to home, and I know it can give me a head start for Camp Tontozona, so I might as well do it. It will help me get used to the program."

After having both his junior and senior season cut short by injuries, Andre Bailey is very familiar with the concept of overcoming obstacles. His next feat, attempting to replace Jason Shivers who is arguably ASU's best defender, in the starting lineup is another monumental task he must confront. It would stand to reason that if Bailey were not to redshirt he would likely spend more time playing on special teams rather than in the defensive backfield. One thing is for certain, this local high school star's talents, skills, and character are bound to translate into a successful Sun Devil career, no matter what position he contributes to…


Andre Bailey

High School

McClintock HS, Tempe, AZ


FS (Played QB, WR, and RB too)






Phoenix, AZ


The Reaper, for chasing people down and tackling them.

Favorite TV Show


Favorite Movie

Next Friday

Favorite Singer

R. Kelly

Favorite Food

Mexican Food

Favorite Drink


Favorite Athlete

Tim Duncan

Favorite Pro Team

San Antonio Spurs

Person you most admire

My dad. He had to work hard for everything he has. He's been leading by example, and taught me to work hard in life.

First Football Memory

Sophomore year I tackled Terrell Suggs like 11 times. I was so hurt; it was like a headache waiting to happen (smile). People forget that he used to be a pretty good running back.

One Thing most people don't know about me

I'm a quiet and shy off the field.

Why did you choose ASU?

Being close to home to my family. They're the support I need.

Where do you want to be in ten years?

I want to won my own business, like a fashion line. My clothing line will be called "The Reaper" (smile).

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