July 12, 2008

Sun Devils land Coyle

Arizona State maintained its impressive summer recruiting momentum with a commitment late Friday night from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian tight end Chris Coyle less than 24 hours after a similar pledge from Upland (Calif.) cornerback Osahon Irabor.

The commitment is particularly noteworthy because like Irabor, Coyle had been recently offered by UCLA before publicly declaring his intent to play for the Sun Devils. In recent ASU history, stealing a couple southern California recruits away from UCLA and/or USC in a class is considered an achievement; getting two in a single day is unprecedented.

When ASUDevils.com spoke with Coyle on Saturday morning, he'd yet to speak with any of the ASU coaches.

"Coach Burns recruits my area and he let me know in an email yesterday that ASU had decided to offer me a scholarship," Coyle said. "I got the email and responded at like 11 at night that I wanted to commit. I'm going to personally call him and coach Cozzetto and Coach Olson in a little bit to let them know.

"But I talked to coach Cozzetto previously and he said they recruit three different types of tight ends.. They have big blocking tight ends for right off tackle things, then they have an edge guy for sweeps and stuff and then they got a vertical route running tight end and that's going to be the tight end they're going to use me as. So I'm going to be going downfield a lot and catching a lot of ball, or that's how he plans to use me."

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Coyle reported receiving offers from Air Force, Army, Boise State, Duke Portland State, Utah, UNLV, Washington, Washington State prior to picking up the UCLA and ASU offers.

Coyle attended ASU's spring game on April 19, a visit which put the program among his top three. When he returned to Tempe for the Maroon and Gold Camp in June, it cemented ASU as his dream destination.

"I went there and loved the campus and the school and coaches and everything," Coyle said. "It gets hot but it didn't seem to bother me when I was at the camp so I felt like I could deal with it. They've got great facilities, an awesome stadium and they've had a really good football program.

"Academics were important too -- they have a good business school. I want to major in entrepreneurially business and they have that so I can do that. That's the thing my mom was mainly focused on, academics. She is pleased with the school so both of my parents are excited they offered and I made my commitment."

Playing for one of the top high school programs in California, Coyle said that he believes he will be more prepared to enter college than a typical prep player moving up to the Pac-10.

"The way we run our practices, we try to make it as much as a college practice as possible, hustling from drill to drill," Coyle said. "The intensity is always high, we keep the joking to a minimum. We're always on task. To be a part of this program is awesome and it's also good because we get a lot of attention. Coach (Bill) Redell is a great guy and a great coach. He's a big part of the reason I got the scholarship from ASU. He's always on the phone and trying to figure what's going on with my recruiting.

"Our team's going to be better this year than last year so we'll probably win another CIF championship and hopefully go back to state. Going here is a dream come true. It's so competitive here it really brought out the best in me and I'm so thankful for that."

As a junior, Coyle had 19 catches for 264 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively he had 60 tackles, ten sacks, one interception and one pass deflection. He earned first-team all-CIF, first-team all-county and first-team all-league honors on offense.

"Next year the main thing I've got to work on is my blocking and I'm just going to make sure I focus on that," Coyle said. " I'm sure I'll send film into coach Cozzetto and have him check it out and just tell me what I can do and change to become a better blocker. I'm going to be keeping in touch with everyone. My receiving ability I think is further along and not that I won't continue to work on that but my blocking will be the main focus."

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