June 17, 2008

McCullen discusses commitment to 'dream school'

Apache Junction (Ariz.) High School standout athlete Shane McCullen became the fifth member of Arizona State's 2009 class and the third from Arizona after being offered during an official visit this afternoon.

"I got my offer today. Sunday after the camp Coach Stretz emailed me and asked if I could come in this week and meet with him and Coach Erickson," McCullen said. "So today my parents, little brother and myself went up to Arizona State and we sat down and talked with them.

"After I met with them we had a meeting with an academic advisor to go over the options that I had and they are just as solid academically as Cal.

"So after I decided that ASU had all that I wanted so I decided to commit. On the way home my parents and I discussed it so I called Coach Stretz when I got home and told him the news."

McCullen chose Arizona State over offers from Cal, Stanford, San Diego State, Air Force, Army, Nevada and Utah.

"I am just really excited right now," he said. "ASU has been my dream school. I did have some doubts of late but I decided that I was going to go to camp last week and meet with the coaches and see how it went. After meeting with the coaches settled all of my doubts am I just really happy to be a Sun Devil."

The 6-foot-2 194-pounder said that while he really liked the other schools recruiting him, the decision is final.

"I decided a long time ago that if I am going to commit that means that I fully committed and I am not going to back out or take anymore visits," McCullen said. "I sort of had it planned out, even though ASU had not offered I had them in my top three schools with Cal and Stanford. After meeting with the coaches I knew I really liked Coach Erickson and the rest of the coaches a lot and this is where I wanted to be."

A talented athlete with a good mix of size and speed McCullen not only had different programs fighting for his services but had coaches of those programs fighting over him to play either offense or defense.

McCullen spent time at ASU's camp on Sunday at safety, and had several nice plays including a pass deflection in 7-on-7 work where he made a strong, quick break, clearly impressing position coach Matt Lubick.

"ASU decided that they want me at safety but they said that could change depending on how much I bulk up. So I could eventually end up at linebacker down the road," McCullen said. "The coaches said they really like my size and speed and they told me the top three safeties are seniors so they said that they could see me play early. I am really excited about that."

A solid student with a self-reported 3.61 GPA and a score of 1150 on his SAT, McCullen has a good idea of what he would like to study in college.

"As of right now I am planning on majoring in business management. I still plan on talking again to my academic advisor when it comes time to set everything but for now I plan on majoring in business management," McCullen said. "They also told me that I might qualify for the Barrett Honors College and that is something that interests me. They told me how that program has essentially a 100 percent job placement, which is essentially as good as an Ivy League school."

McCullen is relieved that his recruitment is over and he can focus on his senior season as well as a new position.

"I am going to be playing a hybrid position on defense it is like a rover position that is a hybrid of outside linebacker and safety, we call it the Hawk. It's a new position, McCullen said. "We have just put in the 3-5-3 to better fit our personal. It should help me prepare. So now I can focus on my senior year, it should be fun."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!