The Sun Devils pride themselves on signing the top local high school players in the Phoenix area. How hard will it be to sign Pollack? "The location of the school doesn't mater, but it would nice to stay close home… I did see a couple of ASU games in person, but mostly I've seen them on TV. I like the coaches a lot. It's a good program, with great facilities. I had a lot of fun at the ASU camp. Coach Grimes was real nice. He's the type of coach that doesn't yell, but helps you get better…In general I'm looking for a comfortable environment. I want to go to a place where coaches and players feel comfortable around each other, and players aren't singled out. Academics are real important in my decision too." Pollack is very quick being clocked at 4.9. By his own admission he a better run blocker than pass blocker, and he plans to add strength to his frame. If ASU's track record repeats itself, he'll be playing at Sun Devil stadium on Saturdays.
DE Lawrence Jackson, 6-4 241 One of the only Insiders.com five star recruits. With 20 sacks and 134 tackles, it's not hard to see why the defensive end is considered not only the best pass rusher in California, but also one of the best in the West region. With those accolades, the scholarship offers have been pouring in from all over the nation. ASU offered three months ago. All of the Pac-10 has offered, along with LSU, Miami, Ohio St., and both Michigan schools. Jackson did attend both the USC and Washington camps.
Jackson talked about ASU and the other schools vying for his services. "(ASU) It's a nice school from what I hear, but I can't pass any judgment without being there…I have no top 5 schools. I'm just gonna wait out the recruiting process, see who else offers, and decide which schools I'm gonna visit (Last month he was quoted as naming Oregon as his leader.)…I'm OK leaving the state and playing away from home." When we asked the defensive phenom what qualities he looks for in a school he replied: "Education, athletics, surroundings, and a school that will give me the best shot at the NFL." Jackson lists his strong skills as: "My quickness and intelligence. I respect the game, and I believe that if you do that it will respect you. I need to get stronger, meaner, and faster. I'm strong rushing the passer, but I need to work on stopping the run." …And ASU needs to work on getting him to visit Tempe and see if they can entice him to wear the maroon and gold. Mission impossible? Time will tell…
WR Noah Smith, 5-10 160 You can't coach speed, and his 4.35 time in the 40-yard dash has schools all over the country salivating over this prospect. We got a sense of how intense recruiting has been for one of the fastest players in the nation. "My mail is really stacking up. I don't know all the schools that have offered me, because I have to go the post office and pick up a bunch of registered mail that's waiting for me there…" ASU, Tennessee, UCLA, and USC are the four schools that we know who extended offers. You can expect that number to easily double later in the season. Smith has caught 48 passes for 1,100 yards, and this year he plans to play defensive back as well.
Smith's cousin, DeShaun Polk, played for Arizona. However, that doesn't deter him from looking at ASU. "I like the Sun Devils." He said, "My cousin told me all about the rivalry between Arizona and ASU, so I know a little about the team." Both his parents attended UCLA, and the Bruins are going full court press to keep him home. Word is that he's leaning to staying close to home, or at least in California. Factors that would attract him to a certain college include his major. "I want to major in criminal sociology. I'm not too worried about the sports aspect. If a school doesn't have that major, then it won't matter if they offered me a scholarship or not. I also want to live in a secure campus." Besides his blazing speed, route running is another strong attribute of his game. The receiver mentioned that his strength is one the biggest areas of his game that he needs to work on. Let's see, ASU has an outstanding weight room, a reputable criminal justice school... sounds like he would like it here in Tempe…
QB T.C. Ostrander, 6-2 185 The Sun Devils have jumped into the frey, and have joined a long list of schools that extended a scholarship to this blue chip signal caller. "ASU offered last week. I was at their camp, and I really liked the coaching staff. I watched a lot of their games on TV, and I like the offense. My sister graduated from ASU, so I'm real familiar with the school. It's a great area." The other schools that offered are Oregon, Oregon St., Stanford, Kansas St., and Colorado. ASU, Oregon, Colorado, and Stanford are his top 4. Ostrander said that he's interested in Virginia, and hope they offer him. With stats that include 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns he can expect other schools to inquire about him this season.
"I'm looking for a school that has good athletics, good academics, and has a great environment." Says Ostrander. We asked him to self evaluate himself, and he gave us a detailed description: "I have a pretty good arm and good foot work… I have poise in the pocket…I only played for two years, so I have a big desire to learn more… I need to improve my release, and make it shorter, and work on my athleticism. I just need to keep on working all the time." Unlike many other recruits, he's not adverse to verbaling early. "I'm gonna try and decide later this year. But if other quarterbacks start committing to other schools, I have to make my move." If he ends up a Sun Devil, let's hope that he has all the moves ASU is looking for.
QB Mike Affleck, 6-3 239 Affleck was considered a sleeper up until a short time ago, but his performance lately in some team camps is bound to expose him to the limelight. The quarterback was down in Tempe for ASU's camp. "It's a great town." He said, "I loved the facilities, and the weight room. Coach Koetter is a great guy, and the quarterbacks coach is a real smart person…ASU hasn't offered me yet, but I think it will come in future." Colorado is actually the only offer he received, but he recently stated that USC is his leader right now. Oregon, Oregon St., Arizona, Michigan, and Utah are others who're showing interest.
Affleck had a strong junior season completing 55% of his passes for 2,090 yards and 14 touchdowns. Playing time and offensive scheme will be on his mind when he chooses a school. "I'm looking for a place where I can play early, and an offense that throws a lot. I'm OK going out of state, but I'd like to stay in the West. He lists his skills as: "Quick release, strong and accurate arm. I'm pretty quick too. I could improve on reading defenses better." While his stock may not be as high as the other QB's on ASU's wish list, something tells us that could change in a hurry.
S Jordan Carey, 6-0 190 His top five are Oregon State, Louisiana Tech, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona State. However, only the first two schools offered, Carey wishes that ASU would be the third one:" I hope they offer me." He says "I had a good time in their camp, and I was named the running backs MVP. I really liked the college, and the coaches. Coach English did a lot of drills that helped me. I did some exploring on my own, and I love the facilities. The weight room and locker room are outstanding. I love how the stadium is set between two mountains. I really liked the academic staff too. It seems to big a big emphasis with the Football team, and they're real committed to helping you get good grades."
Carey is truly a versatile player. As mentioned, he was the running back MVP at ASU's camp. While most schools are recruiting him as a defensive back or wide receiver, the Sun Devils are looking at him as a free safety prospect. Whatever position he plays, is a secondary matter to him: "I'm looking for playing time. I don't mind redshirting, but I don't want to be sitting on bench for 3 years either. I just have to see which school offers me, what position they're recruiting me as, and how the position competition is on that team. I prefer offense, but I'm OK with playing defense. I'm looking for a good relationship with the coaches. I don't want that area to be a struggle for four years." Carey, who runs a 4.3, lists his skills as having great hands and making big plays. Nevertheless, he's committed to improving his speed and quickness.
S David Lewis, 6-0 182 Even though he had 11 interceptions, and being recruited as a safety in most circles, Lewis hasn't given up his dream of playing wide receiver in hopes that he'll be noticed in that position. He knows from his friends who did attend the ASU camp that he's listed on the Devils' top 5 safeties wish list. Nevertheless, he hasn't had any scholarship offers from ASU or any other school for that matter. The Washington schools, Oregon schools, Arizona, and LSU have been showing interest.
"The number one factor in me choosing a school is education, number two would be coaches, and number three would be a nice campus." He Says. "I'm gonna try to move from safety to corner. I like to anticipate and find the ball. I run a 4.5, so not that many players are gonna beat me with their speed. I still need to work on playing in different coverages, and I need to get stronger." ASU along with the other schools may wait and see what position Lewis desires to play, and evaluate their recruiting approach at that time.
TE Casey Tyler, 6-6 265 His numbers aren't eye popping with 15 catches for 215 yards and four touchdowns, and maybe splitting time at defensive end has something to do with that. However, Washington has offered a scholarship to this local talent (the only school to do so), which could indicate that his potential is larger than his stats. Where does that leave ASU? "They haven't offered yet," The tight end says. "But I'm interested in them because they're suppose to have a good team in the future. They have a good coach. You see that their tight ends like Todd Heap get recognition; going in the first round of the NFL draft…I'm pretty open to going out of state. I may want that more than staying in Washington." Other schools showing interest are UCLA, Notre Dame, Colorado, and Oregon State.
When choosing where to commit to, Tyler says that he's looking for good media exposure, as well as good academics. Naturally, he wants to go to an offense that will throw often to its tight end. He runs a 4.9, but would like to work more on his speed and footwork. He considers himself a good run blocker who doesn't drop many passes. Don't be surprised to see scholarship offers pile up for this player as the Football season starts.
WR Mark Bradford, 6-2 185 He's considered one of the best receivers on the West Coast, and he had he has scholarship offers from virtually the whole the Pac-10. "ASU offered three weeks ago." He Says. "They have a nice program and throw the ball a lot. I didn't come down there, but from what I hear and read they have real nice facilities...I'm very open to all schools. I have no leader, and I'm gonna take a hard look at all the schools once the season starts.
What will win the services of this blue chip wide out? "I'm looking for the right situation. I'm looking for a team where I can catch a lot balls, get a chance to really learn the game, and a school that can give you a good education that will help you when you're done with Football. " Bradford considers himself as a very physical but polished receiver, who's very fast (he was clocked running a 4.4). Working on his technique and playing against different coverages are areas of his game that need improvement. Seems like he would be a nice for in ASU's "Air Koetter" offense.
QB Alex Brink, 6-3 180 Brink had a great time at ASU's camp, but no scholarship offer has come from the Devils or any other division one school for that matter. "ASU has called me several times." Brink says "I got real good vibes during camp. It was well run. I liked the coaching staff. My high school coach and coach Helfrich know each other so that help me get real familiar with the offense they run, and the program in general. I liked the camp a lot, and the facilities are real nice." Stanford, Washington, Northwestern, Oregon St., and Cal are all showing interest. Because he has no scholarship offers he doesn't have a leader or a top 5.
Academics will be a big factor in his decision on where to attend. "I know I won't be playing all my life, so I want to go to a school which has good academics. I also want to go to a good Football program that has coaches that will always tell me where I stand with them and the team. A school with the type of offense that ASU has is real attractive to me." The signal caller describes himself as: "Mostly a drop back quarterback, with a strong arm. I move around the pocket, but I don't really run out of it (he was clocked at 4.75)…this summer I need to get bigger and stronger, and improve my mental aspect of the game. Brink isn't adverse to verbaling early, and it will all depend on the specific school that extends him a scholarship offer. His 3,543 yards passing and 42 touchdowns last season, along with some good showings at summer camps, have been commanding the attention of more schools in recent months. This prospect could pick up a lot of steam, and scholarship offers in the near future.
TE Jay Dixon, 6-2 224 Dixon is considered one of the best catching TE's in the West region. He Caught 23 balls for 387 yards and four touchdowns last season. While ASU hasn't offered yet he told us that: "I'm getting a lot of mail from them, and I'm real interested. They sent me some real nice pictures. You can tell that this school has lots of pride." ASU is in his top 3, along with Colorado St., and SDSU. Michigan St., UCLA, and Princeton are others schools showing interest. The tight end told us that the school of his choice is one that will offer a combination of a good program with solid academics, where he can grow in both areas. "I run a 4.6, so I have good speed." He says, "I have good hands too. I just need to put on weight to better block for the run." With the Sun Devils putting a premium on this position, this is an intriguing prospect.
S Donte Nicholson, 6-2 210 This safety from the JC ranks hasn't received an offer from ASU, but he his list of schools that he did get offers from is quite respectable: Washington, USC, Oregon, Oregon St., and Arizona. Florida State has made the trip to the West Coast to inquire on Nicholson as well. On the Sun Devils he says: "I haven't heard from them in a while, so I don't know if they still have interest. I never visited there, but I know Riccardo Stewart who told me a lot about ASU… But right now I don't have a leader. I'm still open for ASU."
Nicholson told us that when choosing a school: "I look for good coaches and how they and their payers relate to each other. Academics are important too." When we asked him about his attributes, he replied: "I have strong vision, and I'm always around the ball (he runs a 4.48). I know I can improve, so I just want to work hard so I can be better overall." The safety who collected four interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and 85 tackles last season is scheduled to graduate in December. With ASU's three-safety defensive alignment, you can never have too many players at that position. Look for the Devils to possibly make a push for him.
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