Griffen Takes in First Unofficial ASU Visit

Everson Griffen is obviously no stranger to the Sun Devil campus. Nevertheless, the Avondale Aqua Fria star never thoroughly toured ASU's athletic facilities until Thursday afternoon. Devils Digest caught up with the state's top 2007 class recruit to get his impressions of his visit.

"It was fun," said an enthusiastic Everson Griffen. "I really liked the campus, and for the first time I really got the feel of the campus. The facilities are great, the weight room is great, the coaches are great guys…I just liked everything. It was so good to be around there. My mom was with me and she really liked it too. It was a cool experience."

"I got to learn the history of the school," continued the five-star recruit, "see the trophy they play for against U of A, and learn what to look for in that school in the academic program. I got to go inside and see everything for the first time."

Most of the Pac-10 conference has been in hot pursuit over Scout.com's top ranked defensive end, and national programs such as Oklahoma and Michigan have also been showing strong interest. "It's flattering and I'm taking it all in," he remarked on his recruiting experiences. "I feel so good that I'm at this stage right now after working so hard and coming this far."

These days, Griffen has been participating in various passing leagues where high schools compete against each other in 7-on-7 drills. "We go eight plays on offense and eight plays on defense and you keep score," explained Griffen. "It's fun going back and forth, and it gives you experience practicing some plays. The most fun thing is playing against guys you've never seen before."

Due to the format of this competition, Griffen has to play out of his position, a move that he doesn't mind one bit. "I just go with the flow," he commented. "I play linebacker and rover. We play a stack 3-5 scheme, where the defense end is on the same side as the weak side linebacker."

Collecting 47 tackles (30 solo), five sacks and three recovered fumbles, the defensive end was able to have a standout junior campaign, despite the Owls going 3-7 in 2005. "I plan on us having a better year," projected Griffen. "We're gonna have some new players from California out there and that will help us. I just want to have a better season than last year and make it to the playoffs. This year we will tear that record up and win at least seven games. We will go farther."

Griffen says that he has no one leading school for his services, and in general he doesn't expect to make a decision until much later this year. "I just want to go on my visits, watch a game, hang out with the players," he said, "that's a big part of my decision, seeing how the coaches treat the players and how the players like the school. I want to take at least a couple of visits before I make a decision. I'm just trying to find the right school for me. I want to find the situation that best fits me." He added that his family will be supportive of his decision no matter how far or close his college of choice will be. " They will support me wherever I go, and they mean a lot to me."

In other interviews, Griffen listed former ASU star Terrell Suggs as his idol. The fellow defensive end likes what the Lombardi Trophy winner represents. "He came out of Arizona," explained Griffen. "Players from Florida and Texas always get to shine, they always get this and that (i.e. accolades). In Arizona you get overlooked. So when you see what a player like him from Arizona did, I know that I have a chance to follow in his footsteps. I could do what he did playing here in the state or playing anywhere else. He's a good role model."

And hopefully strong enough of an influence for Everson Griffen to display his skills on Saturdays on the same field his idol did…

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