Tale of Two Quarterbacks

What started a relatively quiet recruiting season for Arizona State has now become a snowball of positive developments. One saga that has played out itself in the last ten days is the sudden interest Sam Keller has in the Sun Devils, and its effect on Mike Affleck who verbaled to ASU a few months ago. DevilsDigest caught up with the two on Friday night, and heard their thoughts about the Sun Devils, as well as their feelings about each other.

The 6-4 200 Keller has been a Michigan commit ever since last summer. In our conversation with him he refused to say what caused his disenchantment with his original school of choice. "All I can say is that I'm not a solid commit to Michigan." Keller said, "Out of respect to Michigan I won't say why." The San Ramon Valley High School standout did acknowledge that he visited Tempe in the middle of last week. The Devils along with USC and Oregon were schools that Keller has been turning his attention as of late. After visiting that trio of Pac-10 schools, he shown little doubt which university he enjoyed the most. "ASU is on top of all those schools. I loved ASU. It's a great place. I loved the staff, and you can't beat that whether. It's just a great atmosphere to thrive in, and a great offense to play in. I really like to lift weights, and they have a great weight room. I don't mind at all tackling a guy returning my interception, but that doesn't happen often (smile)."

The Danville, CA native is playing it close to the vest on which school he's leaning to. It definitely does appear that the choice will come between Michigan and Arizona State. "I already made up my mind up. I can tell you that Arizona State has things Michigan doesn't have and Michigan has things Arizona State doesn't have. I'm just not ready to announce my decision now."

While Keller was secretive on his college of choice, he was very candid on the possible effects his actions may have had on Mike Affleck, who committed to ASU back in October. "I really hope I'm not ruining his relationship with the school, and not imposing on him. It looks like Affleck will honor his commitment (more on that later), and I really hope he does. I never met him and he seems like a nice guy."

Following our conversation with Sam Keller, we caught up with Affleck (pictured below). The Timpview high school product from Utah said that only today did he call the Sun Devil coaches to reassure them of his commitment. "I'm 100% with ASU. I was thinking about USC because of Keller. Coach Chow (SC's offensive coordinator and family friend) is supposed to return my call later. I hope he doesn't, because I made up my mind. If he calls I'm just gonna tell him that I'm still with ASU. That's who I'm signing with on Wednesday."

Affleck has had open communication with the Arizona State coaches through out the whole Keller episode. He recalls a recent meeting with Sun Devil Quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich. " He told me that ASU are taking another quarterback because of Andy Goodenough transferring. Coach Helfrich was upfront Sam Keller, and said that he may come to ASU. He knew it would be hard on me, but he was upfront." The four-star quarterback indicated that he wasn't ever really troubled by the developments associated with Sam Keller and the Devils. "It didn't bother me. I was surprised, but my family was more upset than me. They advised me to look at schools like USC – they didn't even recruit a quarterback." And what about the possibility that Keller will join Affelck in Tempe this season? "I'll beat him out. I respect him, and he'll make me better, and the best quarterback will win the job. I think that's going to be me. It's not gonna make any difference to me if he's at ASU or not." When DevilsDigest told Affleck about Keller's sentiments concerning any potential riff that he may have caused between him and ASU, Affleck was appreciative of Keller's concern. On a side note, any possible competition between these two signal callers will take place over four or five successive years, since Affleck reiterated in his conversation with us that he doesn't intend going on a mission.

On the surface Arizona State seems to be in a win-win situation. The Devils have appear to not only retain one of their prize recruits, but also gain another true blue chip quarterback. Regardless of how this scenario will unveil itself on Feb. 5th, it is quite evident that these two young players have handled themselves with the outmost amount of class and professionalism – a rarity for most 18-year old recruits these days.

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