Tempe Visit Cures Home Sickness

As beautiful as the Arizona State campus may be, it was still a roughly five-hour plane ride for offensive lineman Brandon Rodd who hails from Aiea, Hawaii. Nevertheless, the hospitality shown to him did not only clam his fears, but also convinced him to commit to the Sun Devils yesterday.

"I was afraid I was gonna be homesick on the trip." Said the 6-5 275 Rodd. "But I met a lot of people from Hawaii, and everybody I met was so nice and friendly, and the girls were pretty too (smile). I just love all the people I met there." His host players were Ali Likio and Tim Fa'Aita who are from Samoan and Tongan decent. Rodd admitted that those two "Really helped me not to get home sick."

The Lineman attends Aiea High School, which is approximately a ten-minute ride from Honolulu. Rodd has already qualified academically, and the academic aspect was hardly a small factor in his decision. "Academics are real important to me, and I liked what I saw at ASU. They make sure that you go to class, and do everything they can do to help you with your classes. I want to major in business, and I liked talking to the Business professor on my visit."

The Sun Devils' amenities are always the highlight of any recruit's visit, and this was definitely also the case with Rodd. "The facilities were great. I really liked the stadium, and the weight room was awesome. I can tell why it's the best in the country, and I liked talking to the strength coach who's the #1 coach in the country. When I met him I knew right away why he was #1. I know I need to get stronger and he can help me out." Speaking of Rodd's athletic ability, his head coach Wendell Say was very complimentary on that aspect: "He's very athletic for his size," said Say "He's only played Football for four years, so his best years are ahead of him. He has good speed, which allows him to pull and trap, and he's real aggressive. He runs a 4.9, but he could probably lower it if he worked hard. It will be easy for him to put on some weight. We did more passing than running in our offense, but he's a good run blocker too."

The pre-season All-State selection said that he was first recruited by Arizona State in the beginning of December. "Right after my coaches sent the video to ASU, they wanted me to visit right away. ASU was my last visit. Before that I took visits to Oregon, San Diego State, and Hawaii." When it comes to the Sun Devils' recruitment methods, coach Say pointed out a peculiar fact: "When Brandon was offered a couple of weeks ago, it was kinda interesting because ASU was the only school that faxed in the scholarship offer. I don't think I ever saw that before."

The overall positive impression left on the lineman almost made him commit just hours after he landed in the valley of the Sun. "I wanted to commit on Friday night, but I waited until I talked to my mom on Saturday. My biggest fear going to a school in the mainland was getting over my homesickness. Now that I visited ASU, I know that won't be a problem." Another issue that won't trouble Rodd's mind is the direction of where the Sun Devil program is headed. "ASU is a team on its way up, and it can go very far. It's also a program that wants to make sure I graduate, and that's very important too…I just know this is the place to be." Recruiting in Hawaii has its unique challenges, but the strong efforts put forward by the ASU coaches have come to fruition, and to that Sun Devils say: Aloha Brandon Rodd!

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