JC Defensive End Standout Signs with Devils

Some things are definitely worth waiting for. The coaches at Arizona State received a late, but precious Christmas present, as four-star defensive end Luis Vasquez faxed his Letter of Intent to Tempe this afternoon. Devils Digest talked to the NJCAA first-team All American from Arizona Western after his decision.

The departure of Washington State defensive coordinator Robb Akey caused Luis Vasquez to re-consider his commitment to the Cougars. Ironically, Akey is now the Head Coach at the University of Idaho, and will replace newly appointed Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson.

"After Coach Akey left, I didn't know if I was still going to sign with Washington State," said the 6-3 250 defensive end. "I didn't get a call from the team after he left. (ASU defensive line) Coach Stretz was recruiting me hard all the time. When I chose Washington State he wished me luck and asked me to stay in touch in case I changed my mind. He never pressured me after I made my decision." The defensive end was scheduled to visit Tempe the first weekend of December, but due to the coaching change at ASU he never took that trip.

The relationship he built with Coach Stretz naturally paid off. When Vasquez decided not to sign with Washington State on the December 20th LOI day for mid-year transfers, two schools came to mind as other possibilities. "It came down to Arizona State, Washington State and Rutgers," he commented. "I felt bad about not signing with Washington State, and I thought about it for a long time – that's why I only signed today. In the end I felt that academically and athletically ASU was the best situation for me. It's a good football program. I want to play at the next level. Coach Erickson coached in the NFL, and he knows what it takes to get there." Oregon State, UTEP, UNLV, Kansas and Idaho were other schools who offered him scholarships, and Cal was showing increased interest in the last several weeks.

Vasquez, who signed with Purdue out of Ledyard HS (Conn.), has been a menace to opposing quarterbacks during his two years at Arizona Western. He earned All-American honors during his tenure in Yuma (Ariz.), and his 15 sacks his sophomore year aided him to win the WSFL sack title in back-to-back years. In 2006 he also collected 61 stops and 24 tackles for loss. He also forced two fumbles, with one of them going back for 89 yards and a touchdown. His lone interception also was returned for a score as well.

In his freshman season, he amassed 16 sacks, 66 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Aside from being named a NJCAA first-team All American, he was also selected as the NJCAA Region 1 Defensive MVP, and named WSFL first team. Vasquez was also the NJCAA Region Number 1 ranked football player overall.

Vasquez is a two-for-two player in terms of eligibility, and will enroll at ASU next month in time for the spring semester.

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