Florida Defensive End Excited for ASU Visit

Jabaal Sheard, a 6-4 240 defensive end from Hollywood Hills (Fla.) High School will take his fifth and final official trip this weekend as he visits the Sun Devils. Time will tell if he saved the best for last, but for now he's full of anticipation for the cross-country visit.

Jabaal Sheard has actually been pursued by Arizona State since last spring. Former defensive coordinator Bill Miller offered him a scholarship at that time (May), and even though the coaching staffs changed in Tempe, the defensive end made it known to the maroon and gold that he was still interested in being recruited. "Last month (ASU DL coach) Grady Stretz from the new staff started recruiting me," he recalled. "He told me that I still had a scholarship waiting for me. I got to see tapes of the school and I like it a lot. It's a very good football program. Academically, they're a very good school and they have almost all of their football players graduate. I'm looking forward to checking it out."

The defensive end isn't only enamored by ASU, but also with the conference they play in and how it can suit his skills. "The Pac-10 is a passing conference," he explained, "and my strong skills are my quickness, speed and rushing the quarterback. I do need to improve getting by the offensive lineman when I go one-on-one with them, but a lot of times I'm able to throw them off-balance." He compares his style to the Miami Dolphins' Jason Taylor.

As a senior, he registered 45 tackles and 12 sacks, following a junior year where he had 28 tackles and eight sacks. Sheard, who's also a sprinter on his school track and field team, was voted first team All-County and selected to the Miami Herald's first team as well. The lineman, who has been a two-year starter for Hollywood Hills High School, bench presses 370 pounds and runs the forty-yard dash in 4.6 seconds.

Sheard already visited Auburn, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, and Florida International. Thus, ASU is by far the furthest school from home that he will visit. This fact hardly fazes the defensive lineman. "If I'm going away from home, I'm going away from home," he said. "It doesn't matter how far it is because it's still away from home."

Naturally, Sheard will make his decision between the end of his ASU trip (Sunday) and signing day (Wednesday). "When I'm gonna make my decision I'm gonna look at how I get along with the players," he commented, "how I like the facilities…academics – if I get injured I want to make sure that I can get a degree and job after college." The lineman claims that he's academically qualified, although he would like to improve his test score.

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