Bayou Product Enjoys ASU Visit

Jonathan English, a 6-0 310 defensive tackle from John Curtis Christian High School in River Ridge, LA, tripped to the Sun Devils this past weekend. Devils Digest talked to him following his visit and got his impressions of what turned out to be a very pleasant 48 hours in the Valley of the Sun.

"It was a great visit, I had a lot fun," said Jonathan English. "It was my first time in Arizona and I enjoyed it. I really liked the weather. Chad Lindsey was my host, and I had a good time hanging out with him and the rest of the players. I enjoyed meeting Coach Erickson and the rest of the coaches."

The Defensive tackle mentioned how much he was impressed by the Arizona State facilities, as well as the campus overall. Yet, the one single aspect of his visit that left the biggest impact on him was the academic support department. "They have a lot of computers there, tutors…they really give you a lot of support and help in getting your degree," commented English who would plans to be a Business major. "They pride themselves on having a lot of football players that graduated ASU with a degree. That's important to me." The defensive tackle arrived in Tempe on Saturday to accommodate his mother so she could accompany him on the trip. "That was real important that she came there with me," he admitted. "That way she gets to see everything I do and she can help me with my decision…she was impressed by what ASU had to offer."

English knows that his stature does not fit the ideal defensive tackle mold, and he did acknowledge the fact that he needs to get stronger and faster to play at the next level. However, that notion doesn't detract from his confidence. He uses the doubters and naysyaers as fuel to propel him to better play on the field. "I do play with a chip on my shoulder and that's my goal every week - to prove people wrong."

Judging by his list of post-season honors he has certainly done a good job turning skeptics into believers. English has been named All-Metro New Orleans Defensive MVP, All-East Jefferson Parish Defensive MVP, All-District, and All-State. He also participated in Max Emfinger's 2007 All-American All-Star Game.

As a junior, Jonathan English tallied 102 tackles, 11 sacks, and had two interceptions. As a senior he registered 117 Tackles (eight for loss), 23 QB Hurries, 11 Sacks, five caused fumbles, two pass deflections, and two fumble recoveries. The most remarkable stat that English may have is that one of his interceptions was returned for a touchdown.

Like hundreds of thousands in the New Orleans area, English and his family have been deeply affected by Hurricane Katrina. They were able to leave town two days before the deadly storm hit. However, his mom lost her daycare business, and their house, which had four feet of water in it, is still in the process of being rebuilt after being torn down due to the damage it suffered. Currently English is living with his head coach, while his mother us staying nearby with family.

The high school football scene in that area has also obviously gone through changes. Nonetheless, while one would think that this devastating natural disaster would ruin the sport, it actually elevated it. "You had so many schools close and a lot of players switched schools," explained English. "So now teams that didn't used to be good are playing a lot better. The competition really picked up."

English's last official visit will be between hometown school Tulane and Minnesota. "I'm talking to Minnesota coaches tomorrow, so we'll see what happens," he said. "I'm not gonna make my decision until after I take that last visit." In a previous interview with English's coach Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Memphis and LSU were mentioned as other suitors of the defensive tackle but they appear now to be out of the running with signing day just over a week away.

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