Tucson O-Lineman Impressed with Sun Devils

When you sporting more than a dozen scholarship offers, with probably several more on their way, schools vying for the services of a blue chip recruit naturally have to separate themselves from the pack. Kris O'Dowd may be several months away from giving his pledge, but told Devils Digest that ASU has been making a favorable early impression on him.

The 6-5 302 Kris O'Dowd ventured to Tempe earlier this month for the Arizona State Junior Day event. His overall reaction following that trip was one of a very pleasant surprise. "It was pretty eye-opening," he admitted. "The facilities were very impressive and were top-notch. I enjoyed talking to (Offensive Line) Coach Myers. I really like the way they conducted Junior Day – they only had 14 players, and it was nice to have a small group. I brought my mother with me and she really liked the place. Everything was well conducted." O'Dowd added that he was offered a scholarship by the maroon and gold during junior day last season, which was also the first time he ever toured the Sun Devil campus.

"I was quite surprised by what I saw," continued O'Dowd. "Right now it's real early in the recruiting process, and I'm not close to make a decision. But they showed me everything they had and it looked pretty good."

The Tucson Salpointe standout has virtually every Pac-10 school extending a scholarship offer to him, as well as schools outside the western region such as Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State. Since playing away from home has never been an issue, how will he narrow his options from his lengthy register of schools? "In my own head I do have a short list," replied O'Dowd. "This summer I will go over rosters, facilities and what not and try to find the best fit. I expect to have a top 3 or top 5 list by the end of August."

Both state universities have always targeted the elite high school prospects in Arizona, and if the Sun Devils or Wildcats were to land the lineman, it would be quite the coup in terms of recruiting. Ironically enough, O'Dowd said that this aspect hasn't been a factor in his recruitment by the two fierce archrivals. "My parents both graduated from U of A," he commented, "my grandfather played center there…both schools don't talk about it (the rivalry), and I really don't care if they do talk about it or not. I obviously know it's there."

O'Dowd said that he has been hitting the weights harder than ever, and that it has paid dividends in terms of his increased strength. "I'm good at run-blocking," he stated as he described his skills. "I can get better in pass-blocking and switching from right to left tackle will help there with my pass-blocking and footwork. I just want to focus on improving my technique the most before I go to the next level."

With so many schools from all around the nation recruiting him, no one would blame the Salpointe star if he has already felt a burnout from the intense recruiting process. However, like many other highly recruited prospects, he has learned to take it all in stride. "I'm not gonna lie - it's not that bad right now," he claimed. "I know that one day it will get to the point where I say ‘oh gosh, I gotta talk to him now.' But I'm an easy going guy, and I'm taking everything step-by-step. It's fun opening the mailbox and having 30 letters, which is more than your parents (laughs)." O'Dowd mentioned that the only combine he will attend this summer will be the Southern California Scout.com combine on May 7th. Due to the fact that Salpointe will be attending a camp at the University of Arizona, he may be present at that event as well.

The ASU prospect is academically qualified and obviously highly sought after. Thus, does he expect to settle on a school of his choice in the earlier portion of the football season? "It all depends," he replied. "It can take five visits or two visits, or I can commit before the summer is over. It just all depends on the situation right then and what's best for me. Everyone will know soon enough."

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