Oakland Tech duo enjoys ASU trip

Linebacker Ryan Murphy and defensive tackle Fred Thompson were in Tempe this past weekend for an official visit and talked to Devils Digest about their experience.

Both players are being recruited by Arizona State's tight ends coach Jamie Christensen, and were offered by the maroon and gold just days before they arrived in Sun Devil country for their visit. Both were voted recently to the first team OAL All-City team (Murphy voted as a running back).

The 6-2 205 Ryan Murphy finished as the OAL rushing champion and collected 1,983 yards on the ground. He stated that he's being recruited to ASU at a ‘rover' linebacker/safety position.

"The visit went very well and I really liked it," Murphy said Sunday evening. "Arizona State is competitive on the gridiron and in the classroom. They have nice facilities. Coach Erickson has NFL experience and he's trying to get the program back to the national spotlight.

"I really liked how laid back the coaches are. Coach Bray is very nice but he also keeps it real and he still takes care of business. I really liked the scheme they run on defense and I felt that I really got a hold of it very quick. I know if I was sitting there studying it for three, four weeks I would have it down pat."

Murphy is now listing the Sun Devils as his favorite, but said he doesn't plan to make any decision before he visits Washington State and Oregon State in the next couple of weeks. Both of those schools have already offered him a scholarship, and Murphy said that Arizona and UCLA have been recruiting him too but haven't offered as of yet.

Murphy's teammate, the 6-4 290 Fred Thompson (pictured), was also impressed by what Arizona State had to offer. Attending the Duel in the Desert game though was a bit weird for him, since he visited Arizona a little over a month ago and the Wildcats have naturally have been pursuing him very hard during the recruiting process.

"When I was on the sideline the coach from Arizona that was recruiting me did a double-take when he saw me," Thompson recalled. "He wasn't too sure it was me. He was probably wondering what I was doing there. That was funny."

The lineman added that generally there were subtle differences between his visits to both archrival schools, and said that the biggest difference he noticed was that "The Arizona State crowd was really rocking."

Thompson was also impressed by the ASU coaching staff and said of them "They're very down to earth and keep it loose," he said, "but you can tell that they also take their jobs very seriously and they really enjoy what they do. As coaches they give everyone a chance and they will play you no matter if you're a freshman or not. They just want the best players on the team to play and get the job done.

"I like everything about the ASU defense. They play together and you can see why they lead the Pac-10 in overall defense."

Thompson will shares the same visit schedule as Murphy, and the lineman said it is a mutual desire for both of them to ultimately play for the same school. "Playing together would be a plus," he said. "We're both going to take all our visits so we have something to compare to. I might visit UCLA too, but I'm not sure yet."

Oakland Tech lost 18-6 to Fremont in Friday's section championship and finished 9-3 on the year.


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