CARSON, Calif. — In a game that was full of offense, setting records for most combined points and total yards in a state bowl game, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle’s top-ranked prospect, Devin Asiasi spent the majority of the game away from the action.
Asiasi, a four-star 2016 tight end, sealed the defensive end and sometimes moved to the second level to reach a linebacker, but De La Salle consistently grinded the ball on the weak side picking up chunks of yards upon chunks of yards. Junior running backs Antoine Custer and Andrew Hernandez combined for 448 yards and seven touchdowns to lead the Spartans as they set CIF Championship bowl-game records with 559 yards rushing and nine rushing touchdowns.
De La Salle only passed for 36 yards — only needed to pass for 36 yards. Of the four passes junior quarterback Chris Vanderklugt did attempt, none went the way of the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Asiasi. But when Vanderklugt went down with a shoulder injury late in the fourth quarter, Asiasi got his chance. Stepping in as a backup quarterback, he got his hands on his ball, carrying it for three bruising runs.
Asiasi capped off his one drive at quarterback by flashing the agility that belies the body he’s in. He cut outside, leaping away from a pair of diving tackle attempts aimed at his knees on his way to a 12-yard scamper into the end zone. The score and subsequent two-point conversion gave De La Salle its final 63-42 margin of victory over Corona Centennial.
“I mean it’s the state title game,” Asiasi said. “Just getting a chance to be in there as a quarterback, it’s a great feeling.”
An even bigger shot of adrenaline to the emotions? Winning the CIF Open Division Championship.
“Oh my god. It’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever had actually,” Asiasi said. “Coming from last year, losing the state title and just coming back this year and winning it, it’s surreal man.”
The big tight end will now turn his attention to the recruiting cycle and his eventual college decision.“I think it’s going to be a big summer for me. Going more as an athlete,” said Asiasi, who also plays defensive end. “I think more doors are going to open up for me, but I still got to play it patient, I can’t let it throw me off from school and all of that and everything, but I’m really excited.”
He hopes to receive invitations to some of the prestigious prospect showcase camps during the spring and summer. He’s hoping to participate in one of the Nike Football Training Camps and then potentially get an invite to the Nike's The Opening in Oregon.
Asiasi also said he is planning to take a couple of unofficial visits, possibly during De La Salle’s spring break in a few months. Though he said he doesn’t have any leaders, Asiasi does know some schools he’d like to check out.
“There’s a couple of schools I’d like to visit like USC, UCLA, but there’s no favorites,” said Asiasi, who holds offers from both as well as schools such as California, Illinois and Tennessee. “I’m just saying that as an example of a couple of schools that I would want to see.”
But when it comes to making a final decision on college, it might come all the way down to National Signing Day 2016.
“I’m planning it with that boy right there,” Asiasi said, pointing to fellow De La Salle four-star Class of 2016 recruit Boss Tagaloa, who previously said he was likely going to take his decision all the way to National Signing Day. “My brother. We’re going to plan our senior year together. That’s probably what it is. Senior year.”
Check out Devin Asiasi's offensive isolation highlights from De La Salle's 63-42 win over Corona Centennial in the CIF Championship (and stick around for the final two clips of him attacking the defense with the ball in his hands as a quarterback):