Sun Devils Receive Pledge from Local Forward

The college basketball world may be at the height of the 2007 recruiting season, but that's not to say that younger prospects are being ignored. The Sun Devils gave 2008 prospect Taylor Rohde much attention the last few months, and the efforts of the ASU basketball staff have been rewarded, as the Pinnacle (Phoenix, Ariz.) High School standout verbaled to the maroon and gold today.

With 20.7 points a game, ten boards a contest and 75 total blocks in 2005-06, Taylor Rohde was easily positioning himself as one of the top state prospects for the 2008 class. His efforts landed him both on the Arizona Republic and Desert Sky league first team. Wanting to establish good local high school connections upon his arrival last April, Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek and assistant Archie Miller made it a point to heavily scout the forward.

"It feels great being committed to Arizona State University," said Rohde. "I really like the way Coach Sendek carries himself. I know he's gonna build a great program and I want to be part of it. It was important for me to stay close to my family and friends and that was also a big part of my decision."

A commitment this time of year from a 2007 class prospect isn't that rare. However, when a 2008 prospect verbals almost a year and half from signing day, one may wonder why a player would make such a big decision without experiencing the entire recruiting process. "I don't know if I wanted to stay away from it (the recruiting process)," explained Rohde. "I just found ASU to be the prefect place for me. In the Pac-10, you know that you'll face the best, and so that's where I decided to go. When I went on unofficial visit, I knew where I wanted to go. The facilities are great and hearing about all the renovations they will make did entice me too."

"He was just overwhelmed with ASU's staff," said Taylor's father Monty Rohde. "He felt very comfortable with them, and felt that he wanted to be part of the revitalization of the program. He didn't need to see anything else and there was no reason to postpone his decision, so he pulled the trigger."

Rohde is being recruited as small forward, but due to his young age it's definitely not out of question that he can still grow into even a more physical player down the road. "Because he was big earlier, he has very good back to the basket skills," said Rohde's father. "But he also has range and shot 40% from three-point land. He has a very good in- and-out game, which makes it hard to guard him. He's going to work on improving his quickness and first step."

The forward is playing for the Phoenix Magic AAU club, and a foot injury is preventing him from playing in the various AAU tournaments all across the country these days. "During the spring the ASU staff saw him playing in tournaments in Houston and Las Vegas," commented Rohde, "and also saw him workout at school. He'll be sidelined for 6-8 more weeks."

Rohde has always expressed his desire to make a decision before his junior year, and his father admitted that the injury "probably expedited the process." Aside from the Sun Devils, the forward was offered by New Mexico, which was his first offer. UNLV, Georgetown, Stanford, and Oregon State all showed interest as well.

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