Tonga sees opportunity with Sun Devils

6-4 310 lineman Calvin Tonga preferred to play on defense at the colligate level. However, when his best scholarship offer at the time came from San Diego State, the Riverside (Calif.) Arlington standout agreed to play on the offensive line and pledge to the Aztecs. When the Sun Devils came into his recruiting picture recruiting him on defense, switching his pledge to ASU was an easy decision.

"Arizona State has been recruiting me for two weeks," said Tonga. "Coach Lubick was talking to me a little earlier in the season, sending me letters. But it was kind of unexpected when they offered me a scholarship and wanted me to come in for a visit. I was committed to San Diego State for just a few weeks when Arizona State offered me."

"I like everything about the program. I was hosted by Jamaar Jarrett and Toa Tuitea on my trip and had a good time hanging with them. Arizona State wants me to play on the defensive line and that's the position I wanted all along. They already have the best defense in the Pac-10 and I'm happy that I can come in and contribute and bring aggressiveness."

It's very common for a defensive lineman to come into college undersized and vigorously work on adding weight and bringing up their strength. Suffice to say that a player such as Tonga won't have to do that much in that department.

"I played at over 300 pounds all through high school," explained Tonga. "So I'm used to playing at that weight. I bench 350; squat 560 and power clean 255. But I know I still need to get stronger, work on my conditioning and just learn how to play at the college level."

Tonga posted 40 tackles and six sacks last season for the 10-2 Lions who lost 26-20 to Norco in the second round of the playoffs.

The lineman does have some course work to take care off before he can become eligible. He stated that the Sun Devils worked with him to lay out a plan that will help him achieve that goal and that fact was the biggest reason for him to de-commit in favor of ASU.

"Coach Lubick sat down with me and my counselor and we found out what I needed to do to get eligible," said Tonga. "I have to make up some classes and I can do that during the school year. I'm taking the ACT this week and I'm going to register for the SAT in March so I can bring up my score.

"With Arizona State offering me and committing to them I'm motivated to work hard and get my grades and scores up. I know I can get it done. ASU pays a lot of attention to your academics and that's important to me."

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