Colorado State bolstered its offensive line in a big way on February 1, signing 7 offensive linemen who average around 305 pounds each. Among them is Tacoma (Wash.) Stadium left tackle John Blasco, Jr., a 6-foot-7, 309-pounder who was one of six Rams to verbally commit to Mike Bobo and Co. during the December 2 recruiting weekend. Blasco, Jr. details his recruitment and more in another Get To Know the 2017 Class feature from Inside The Rams.
Inside The Rams: John, we've detailed your recruitment before (Rams extend offer to Blasco, Jr. / Blasco, Jr. commits to CSU), but break down your recruitment from CSU from start to finish and how that whole process played out.
John Blasco, Jr.: "I got my first offer in the spring time, around my junior year, and that was from Hawai'i. I went to a camp and CSU saw me there and then they offered me after my second game of my senior year. Then I got an offer from Montana a few weeks ago, then towards the end of the season, I got an offer from San Diego State. Actually, that was closer to the end of the recruiting process."
ITR: What was it about your visit to CSU in early December that really sold you on committing?
Blasco, Jr.: "The coaching staff and the family atmosphere were really the things that I liked the most."
ITR: How did you feel you meshed with (player-host) Rashaad (Boddie) and the other CSU players on your visit?
Blasco, Jr.: "They seemed like cool dudes. They weren't trying to act too big-time, you know, to be around a high schooler and stuff like that. They were just cool, down-to-earth people that I could see myself hanging out with. That was another reason that helped me to commit there."
ITR: Leading up to signing day, was there any drama in your recruitment? Any schools that tried to get you to de-commit from CSU?
Blasco, Jr.: "San Diego State was; they were trying to get me to switch. But I didn't like their coaches a lot when I went on a visit there. I kind of took the visit just because it was a free trip to San Diego and I didn't want to pass that up. But I had no intention of ever not going to Colorado State after I committed."
ITR: When was that visit you took to SDSU?
Blasco, Jr.: "That was two weeks before signing day."
ITR: Did you take any other official visits?
Blasco, Jr.: "Nope."
ITR: Did the new on-campus stadium at CSU factor in at all into your decision to commit to CSU?
Blasco, Jr.: "Yeah, that was a big part, because it's cool to go somewhere you know the school is behind their program, which kind of gets shown by the new stadium."
ITR: What were some things the CSU coaches shared with you that they really liked about your film?
Blasco, Jr.: "They liked that I finished blocks, that I seemed mean on my tape. They like the length of my arms and my size. That's usually what they talked about in evaluating me."
ITR: So they like you at right tackle?
Blasco, Jr.: "Left tackle. I can play either, but I played left the last few years, so it would be cool to stay over there. If they need me at right, I have no problem with that."
ITR: From what you know about CSU's personnel up front, do you think you can come in right away and play as a true freshman?
Blasco, Jr.: "Um, yeah. I'll come in ready to compete. If coaches think I'm ready to play, I'm definitely ready. If they want me to redshirt and think that's best, then I'm ready for that, too."
ITR: Do you remember your measurables from your CSU visit, like your height and weight?
Blasco, Jr.: "I'm 6-7, 309, I think I was. My arms (length) were 36 inches long. I don't remember what my hands were."
ITR: Do you remember your senior season postseason awards and honors?
Blasco, Jr.: "I was first team all-area, first team all-league, first team all-city. I got lineman of the year on my team and was team captain, and I was an all-state nominee. I couldn't become more than a nominee, because I would leave early to go to Colorado State, so I couldn't fill out the form to become first team all-state."
ITR: With Coach Friend being your lead recruiter from Colorado State, what were some things he shared with you during your recruitment that stuck out to you? And just break down your relationship with him.
Blasco, Jr.: "Coach Friend was, I don't know... he seemed like the coolest guy that recruited me. He seemed like somebody you'd want to be around, besides just football, and not somebody you had to talk to because they were recruiting you. So that was a big thing for me. He was somebody you're comfortable with, somebody my family was comfortable around, you know."
ITR: Throughout your recruiting process, was there anything unique that went down, or did you have any crazy or humorous stories?
Blasco, Jr.: "No, not really. Everything was pretty much the same, pretty normal for me. I remember the Hawai'i coach came to my school the Monday after I committed (to CSU). He was at my lunch on Monday trying to get me to flip to Hawai'i and go on a visit there, talking down on the school. That was just really funny to me he got on a plane that quick after I committed. That was interesting. Kind of a waste of a flight..."
ITR: Was there any negative recruitment? Schools that talked bad about CSU, or did they just pitch their own schools?
Blasco, Jr.: "They just pitched their own schools, mostly. Hawai'i didn't even talk them down. They were just like, 'We see you're going to Colorado State, so we're going to try and beat ya. We'll just talk to you when we're there.'"
ITR: What was your favorite part in the recruiting process?
Blasco, Jr.: "Official visits were my favorite part. Those are fun - meeting players, going to new cities, experiencing cool stuff."
ITR: What was your least favorite part of the recruiting process?
Blasco, Jr.: "Probably having to so-carefully watch everything you put on Twitter. That's probably it. You just want to retweet a funny video, or something like that, that you thought was funny, but then you've got to think about how many coaches are going to be looking at that."
ITR: Did you feel like the whole recruiting process was pretty stressful, or was it mostly enjoyable for you?
Blasco, Jr.: "After I committed, I was pretty stress-free, because I knew where I was going. I didn't really have stress through it all; I just knew to have the recruiting process, alone, was a blessing. So I never really stressed about it. I was just happy to be where I was - wherever I ended up, I think, was where God wanted me to be."
ITR: Do you know your bench max, squat max and top 40 time?
Blasco, Jr.: "My 40-yard dash time was a 5.7, I believe. My top bench was 295 and squat was 450."
ITR: John, what was your favorite high school football memory?
Blasco, Jr.: "Favorite high school memory was after we beat Wilson High School, which was our crosstown rival, and that game gave us our first ever playoff berth in Stadium history. The game almost got rained out, because there was flooding. The bowl was filled with water, so that was really cool. It was just a cool scene. The fans rushed the field, so that was a cool memory."
ITR: Who is your favorite athlete and/or football player, and why?
Blasco, Jr.: "My favorite athlete, right now, is probably Isaiah Thomas. He's from Tacoma, Washington and just seeing him go from where he was to now, he's pretty much taken the NBA by storm right now. He's killin' it. He's probably the second-best player in the East, probably a top 5 player right now. My favorite football player is Tyron Smith, though, the left tackle for the Cowboys."
ITR: What are your hobbies outside of football?
Blasco, Jr.: "I sing. I was in choir for my whole life. That's actually why I went to the school I went to, because they had the top choir program in the nation. So I sing."
ITR: Do you plan on continuing that after high school?
Blasco, Jr.: "No, I don't think so, because it's pretty time-consuming. A lot of time with choir and universities, you have to major in music for you to be in a choir. So it was fun while I was doing it. I still love singing and I still love doing it, but I'm probably done with it for now."
ITR: Do you play any other sports outside football?
Blasco, Jr.: "I do not play any other sports outside of football. I played baseball when I was young, and basketball up until 8th grade, but now it's just been football."
ITR: Do you have a favorite pair of shoes?
Blasco, Jr.: "Birkenstocks."
ITR: What's something about you that most people may not know?
Blasco, Jr.: "I can cook. Like, quite well. Like, I walk home and my little sister says, 'John, what's for dinner?' Not mom. So I've been cooking for a while."
ITR: What are some of your favorite dishes to cook?
Blasco, Jr. "I like making fettuccine alfredo, or anything like tacos, or anything like that."
ITR: What is your dream job and why?
Blasco, Jr.: "The dream, of course, is to play in the NFL, but besides that, I want to be a child psychologist, because I've always been passionate about working with kids. I've been a camp counselor the last four or five summers with a summer camp my church does. I just really like that and I'm interested in the human mind, psychology and counseling, and things like that. That's something I'd want to be."
ITR: What are you going to major in at CSU?
Blasco, Jr.: "Psychology."
ITR: What does your offseason training program look like right now?
Blasco, Jr.: "I train at a facility in Bellevue called Ford Sports Performance. I'm up there Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and then I train on my own on Wednesday. It's a pretty cool place. A lot of Seahawks players will train there and a lot of other D-I athletes, and then they've had a draft class."
ITR: Does that consist mainly of lifting and running?
Blasco, Jr.: "It's an hour of footwork, then an hour and a half of weights. Saturday, I just do position work with a guy names Matt Cleveland. He went to Idaho and played for the Packers."
ITR: What do you feel like you will specifically bring to CSU as a football player?
Blasco, Jr.: "A hard worker, a competitor. Someone who hates to lose and loves to win. That's me."
ITR: Do you know what day you arrive in Fort Collins this summer?
Blasco, Jr.: "I should be arriving on June 10 or 11."
ITR: Do you know who you will room with your freshman year?
Blasco, Jr.: "I do not know."
ITR: What about what jersey number you'll wear?
Blasco, Jr.: "Here's my thing about my jersey number: If I redshirt, I'm hoping to get 77, because I know the starting center (Jake Bennett) wears that number. That's the number I've been wearing all throughout high school. Hopefully I can get 77 back. If I can't, then I don't know what I'm going to do. I'll have to go through withdrawals and figure out what I'm gonna do."
ITR: What's the significance of that number?
Blasco, Jr.: "I don't know. There were two numbers left over my freshman year when I had to pick numbers. It was 77 or 78. I was like, '78's ugly, give me 77.' So I just rocked that and it kind of became my thing. I'd have to change all my social media names if I had to change my number, and that'd just be a hassle."
ITR: Last question: What are you most excited about in starting this next chapter of your life and becoming a CSU Ram?
Blasco, Jr.: "I'm really excited about the big games we play and hopefully win a Mountain West Championship. Getting championships is a big deal to me, something I want to do. That's what I'm most excited for."