Introducing the 2006 Class: Dimitri Nance

Dimitri Nance wasn't considered a blue chip prospect following his junior year. His record setting senior campaign, changed that perception in a hurry. Timing is everything in the recruiting process, and is probably the biggest reason why Arizona State was able to land one of its most heralded high school recruits ever.

While Trinity High School (Euless, Tex.) has been a power house in the lone star state for several years now, the 5-10 205 Dimitri Nance, despite some recognition his junior year, was probably its best kept secret. However, after a few games in 2005 the cat was out of the bag, and offers started pouring in. Luckily for the maroon and gold, none of those scholarship prospects was appealing to the running back.

Schools such as UTEP, New Mexico State, Utah, and BYU all offered before Arizona State did. "Six games into the season my coach told me that Arizona State wanted to offer me," recalled Nance, "and this was before they ever talked to me or anything like that. I was surprised. I started to do some research on them and I saw that it was a good program. I really liked the offense they have, and they run some stuff we do at Trinity. I'm good catching the ball from the backfield and the ASU offense throws a lot to their backs."

Consequently, Nance decided to pull the trigger and verbal to the Sun Devils without setting foot in Tempe first. "I didn't want to risk on losing on that scholarship," he explained. "That was the best offer I had then. When we did our research everyone said what a great school it was, so I decided to accept the offer." After his commitment, Missouri was the only new school in his recruiting picture and they tried in earnest to sway the tailback away from Tempe. One school that never came calling were the home state Texas Longhorns. "Everything happens for a reason, so there's probably a reason why some schools didn't offer me," said Nance. "It doesn't matter to me – I'm just happy to be at Arizona State."

As a junior, he was first-team all-district, and a first-team all-junior selection. Yet, he was relative unknown in the recruiting circles, and didn't receive any scholarship offers prior to his sensational senior year. "My junior year I was playing behind a senior running back that the coaches really liked," remarked Nance. "I knew that the next year it was gonna be my time and that I would be the primary back, so I just prepared my hardest. I wasn't really surprised at how I played (in his senior season), because I knew I could perform. I just took it one game at a time. Maybe some of my teammates were surprised, but the coaches always knew that I had it in me. I knew I could play well, and that as the premier back I would have a chance to show it."

And did he ever put his talents on display.

3,173 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2005 not only landed him several state MVP awards, but also helped the Trojans win their first ever 5A state title (Fittingly, Nance was the MVP of the championship game collecting 158 yards on 28 carries and two TD's). His belief that 2005 would his best year ever, was no different than the overall team feeling in the locker room. "Ever since we lost in the semifinals my junior year, the team believed that with everyone coming back we can win it next year," said Nance. "We came in, worked hard, and it paid off...Desoto is one school that we always had a hard time playing against. When we had no trouble beating them (46-10), we knew then that we can go all the way."

One doesn't have to watch the movie Friday Night Lights, to know that the popularity of high school football in Texas is like no other in the nation. When Trinity marched towards its 14-1 record, Nance was the undeniable star. "It was really nice," he admitted. "After games I was in the stands giving autographs and I felt like a superstar (smile). I would go to a store and people would recognize me. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. I'm really grateful for everything that happened to me."

As the season progressed, the Trojans' rousing success fostered the natural high expectations. Nance believes that those experiences will serve him well in years to come. "There was a lot of pressure and lots of media and fans following you," he stated. "Obviously, there's a big difference between high school and college, but I believe that everything that happened to me on and off the field can only help me at ASU."

Nance is only the second running back in Texas High School history to ever to rush over 3,000 yards in one season (Cedric Benson being the other one). "It hasn't even clicked yet," he said of that lofty accomplishment. "Sometimes I got to remind myself that it really happened (smile)." Despite running a 4.48 and having outstanding open field skills, Nance portrays his quickness as just "OK", and added "I need to work on my break away speed, and I need to get stronger." Indeed, Nance is probably overly humble for someone who won virtually every Texas High School Player of the Year award last year. Which accolade does he treasures the most? The answer is far from being a surprise "Wining the state championship," he replied. "My teammates and coaches helped me so much, and that's why that award means the most to me. I have to give it all to them."

Now it's time for Nance to start making is mark on the college football scene. The running back, who's already academically qualified, will arrive on campus later this month. He told Devils Digest that he's confident that he can continue his success at the next level. "I really like my chances at playing my freshman year," he said. "That's something I was looking at when I was choosing ASU. I know I still have to compete, but I believe I can make an impact my freshman year."

Following a groundbreaking performance in one of the toughest high school leagues in the country, it would be hard to dismiss his words…

Recruit Profile


Dimitri Nance

High School

Trinity (Euless, Tex.)







Date of birth



Dallas, Tex.



Favorite TV show

"Jamie Foxx Show"

Favorite movie

"Any Given Sunday"

Favorite singer/band

"Boys II Men"

Favorite food


Favorite drink

"Hawaiian Punch"

Favorite athlete

"Michael Jordan"

Favorite pro team

"Dallas Cowboys"

Person you most admire

"My parents. They thought me everything I know."

First football memory

"My first Pee Wee practice. I was the only one practicing without a jersey, so I had to run out in the middle of practice to get it."

One thing most people don't know about me

"I'm shy off the field."

Why did you choose ASU?

"I wanted to be in the Pac-10 and ASU was my best offer."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"Hopefully playing professionally. If that doesn't work out, I just want to have a career I'm happy with."

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