A day after his official visit to the school wrapped up Arizona State took a commitment from Roswell (N.M.) New Mexico Military Institute defensive end Edmond Boateng.
"I called coach (Todd) Graham up and let the news go and he was very happy," Boateng said. "He said it was an early Christmas present. He told me that out of his years coaching at ASU he hasn't felt like someone who fits the program quite like me, so that was a good thing to hear. It made me feel even more sure of going to ASU and playing football."
Boateng, 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, is a mid-year transfer who can sign scholarship paperwork with ASU as soon as Wednesday. He will have three years to play three seasons at the Division I level after redshirting in 2012.
Regarding his official visit, Boateng said everything was impressive but his dialogue with his future head coach on Sunday stood out most.
"What stood out the most was definitely meeting Todd Graham at the end," Boateng said. "That was the big milestone for me, meeting the head coach, him saying how much he wants me to come to the school and how I'm a good fit for the program. What stuck out the most was how much he was on board with me coming. The whole trip didn't really overshadow any other part but that stuck out a little.
"He just said that more than anything he loved me for my character, what I bring when it comes to being poised as a JUCO kid, having a good base, having a lot of things that maybe freshmen don't come in with from a maturity standpoint. He just told me what an impact I could have on the team because we've got a lot of boys leaving on the d-line and I want to be that kid to come in and make that impact. So it was really nice, he really stressed how happy he was about me coming on the visit."
Originally form Florida, Boateng didn't start playing football seriously until his junior year of high school. He received a scholarship to New Mexico Military Academy, which came with a lot of adjustments.
"When you get there they call you a RAT," he said. "It's recruit at training. You've got to wake up early in the morning with banging on your door and go run and be in uniform and uniform inspection and marching to every meal, all that stuff. There's a lot of things I had to get used to. Now I feel like all those things are paying off."
Boateng said he had offers from Arizona, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Miami and West Virginia, among others.
"A lot of coaches have said I have tremendous upside and am not even close to my ceiling," said Boateng, who has only played three seasons of football. "So to have that and fresh legs when it comes to football, still have a fresh body, it's really a substantial thing to me."
The courtship with ASU was rather quick, lasting just a few weeks and Boateng's recruitment was spearheaded by ASU defensive line coach Jackie Shipp
"It's huge for me, absolutely huge," Boateng said. "It's the epitome of what I wanted to do when I came out of high school. Not being recruited, going through this route, having a good focus and doing all the things it took, going to New Mexico Military Institute and doing all the things that come with going to a military-based school. I knew that if I just put hard work in and gave it my everything, something like this could happen and I'm so happy about it."
In 2013, Boateng was credited with 19 tackles including six for loss with two sacks in 11 games.