Ventura LB Offered by the Sun Devils

It isn't unusual for schools to inadvertently notice a prospect while recruiting their older high school teammate. Such is the case of Ryan Panapa and ASU. The middle linebacker was discovered by the Sun Devils when they were courting his, tight end Blaine Irby. A scholarship offer has already been tendered and the middle linebacker is delighted to be recruited by the maroon and gold.

"Arizona State just offered me just a month ago,' said the 6-1 250 Ryan Panapa. "Blaine Irby's father told (ASU's Offensive Coordinator) Coach Olson about me last year, and I have been getting some letters from them. But I was surprised about the offer. It really came out of nowhere." It should be noted that Coach Rich Olson is close to the Irby family and is actually Blaine Irby's godfather.

Panapa who attends St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura (Calif.) doesn't know much about ASU, but likes what he sees so far. "Arizona State is a real nice school. I hadn't had a chance to visit it yet, but I was looking it up online and it looks real nice. I do want to visit the campus."

Mississippi was the first college to offer the linebacker and was followed by Nevada. "Washington offered me right around the time Arizona State did," he recalled. "I want to wait and see what offers and opportunities I will get, so I can have a wider choice of scholarships. I'm not gonna make a commitment before the season starts."

He added that he didn't unofficially visit any of the schools that offered him thus far, but naturally plans to take official trips to those institutions during the fall. In fact, he has one set up for Mississippi during his team's bye week.

A quick glance at the list of his suitors reveals that no one is from his home state. How much of a factor is that in his recruitment? "Everybody wants to stay close to home," he explained, "but whatever college offers me the best opportunity and the best program to fit into – that's where I'll go to…the academics are important to me, because you're not gonna play football all of your life. I have to be comfortable in a school and get a good overall feel."

Panapa tallied 98 tackles, an interception, and three fumble recoveries in 2006, earning all-CIF Northern Division and all-state underclass honors. "I know I can read plays very fast," he said of skills. "I'm strong and do a good job getting off blocks. I need to improve on my quickness and speed. I'm not slow, but I do want to get faster."

The linebacker reports a GPA of 3.0 and hasn't taken a college entrance exam as of yet.

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