Elder makes the switch between archrivals

As if the Arizona State-Arizona rivalry didn't have enough to fuel it, here comes JC All-American safety Eddie Elder. The College of San Mateo star verbaled to the Wildcats and was set to enroll in classes this week in Tucson. Following his visit to ASU this past weekend, he is slated to begin classes in Tempe in a few days. Devils Digest talked to Elder after his trip about and his decision.

The 5-11 190 Eddie Elder plans to major in business communications and when he signed as a mid-year transfer with Arizona last month he was under the impression that the Wildcats would accept at least the required 48 credits so he could enroll in the spring.

Elder had the option to continue classes at San Mateo this semester and enroll with Arizona in the summer, or explore his possibilities with his other suitors who would accept the required number of credits for him to enroll in the spring.

Utah, New Mexico State, and Tulsa and were other schools that offered him scholarships and ultimately when he decided to back out of his Arizona commitment he narrowed down his decision between Utah and ASU.

"When I talked to my family and coaches they just felt that Arizona State was going to be a better place for me," Elder explained. "They were going to accept 60 out of my 68 credits and Arizona was going to accept only 47."

The safety admitted that even before he visited Tempe he felt that he was going to end up signing there and his official trip definitely didn't do anything to change that notion.

"The trip went very well," Elder commented on his first ever visit to Tempe. "I was hosted by Omar Bolden and got to know him and the other players. I met the coaches too and got a tour of the campus. I was really surprised to see how everyone on the team was very family oriented because you don't get that a lot.

"I feel that this is very important for a team."

Elder acknowledged that when he decided to commit to Arizona he did so because he felt that they were a good fit for his skills. "Arizona State was just talking to me early on but they didn't offer me," Elder recalled. "So that's why I really picked U of A then. They (ASU) offered me the same day I decided to commit to U of A but Arizona State stayed in contact with me after I committed."

In his sophomore season Elder a remarkable campaign posting 70 tackles, seven interceptions and four forced fumbles. This followed a freshman year where he collected 49 tackles, seven interceptions and two sacks.

During his official visit Elder was impressed when watching game film of ASU defense.

"They're looking at me as a free safety and at nickel," Elder said. "I know people say I have good coverage skills but I feel that I can stop the run just as well. I sat down with Coach Lubick and he was a real cool guy. We looked at the coverages they ran and I could see what I would be able to do on this defense."

Elder, who will have three years to play two, has filled out all the necessary paperwork and is still waiting to be admitted to school since his official transcripts haven't arrived yet at ASU and been reviewed.

Nonetheless, Elder plans to be ready to go once he receives the green light this week.

"I flew back today so I could get my stuff," Elder stated, "because I got a flight at 7 in the morning tomorrow to fly back to Arizona State. When they get all the (official) paperwork and sign off on everything I'll already be there so I don't have to fly out before I start my classes."

The safety feels that enrolling this week and participating in spring practice in two months, will be vital for his acclimation on and off the field.

"Getting there in the spring will make me a better player because I will understand the system better," Elder said, "and will also help me get stronger in the weight room. I feel that if I got here only in the summer I would really be behind."

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