VALENCIA, Calif. - In the shadows of Six Flags Magic Mountain, with the peak of the Superman thrill ride and its 415-foot tower still visible, four-star quarterback Brady White was prepared to make his commitment.
Tucked in the corner of a massive industrial park at Afterburn Fitness where the Newhall (Calif.) Hart superstar trains, White announced his choice
-- it would be Arizona State over California, Oregon and about a dozen other programs.
Recruiting can sometimes be a roller coaster ride. For White, intelligent, pensive, thoughtful, it was more like a slow turn on the carousel that was controlled and deliberate.
He knew his offers. He took his visits. He made his decision.
"My first visit there, I told my dad as well as their staff, after that visit I fell in love with that place," White said. "I let them know they're at the top of my board. After that they were my No. 1 school.
"From there they stayed up top. Coach (Todd) Graham and coach (Mike) Norvell within these last two seasons they just won a Pac-12 South championship so they're doing huge things over there. They're really turning that program around.
"They're not only making their players great and successful football players. They also want them to be the best students possible and the best people in the community and so it's a brotherhood over there, it's a big family and I'm really looking forward to getting out to ASU."
The Sun Devils are getting a fantastic player, rated as the third-best pro-style quarterback in this class by Rivals.com that is absolutely loaded at the top with five-star recruits
Josh Rosen (UCLA) and Ricky Town (USC).
In any normal recruiting cycle, White would be in contention as the nation's top quarterback except this is not an average year in California. It could be the best class in a decade, if not longer, with five five-star prospects already and others to possibly come.
White, who threw for 4,535 yards with 41 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in his junior season and has done nothing but reinforce his spectacular abilities this spring at the RCS Southern California and numerous 7-on-7 events, has the potential to be special.
The 6-foot-2, 186-pound prospect completed 333 passes in his junior campaign. He averaged nearly 14 yards per completion and more than 300 passing yards per outing. White completed nearly 64 percent of his throws and led his team to a 12-3 season against strong competition. Hart scored 55 or more points in five games and it regularly scored in the 40s.
After taking numerous trips this offseason, the four-star quarterback found that Arizona State was the best fit.
Leading up to his decision, it became clear that the Sun Devils were definitely a frontrunner. Hours before White picked ASU, Cal offered Anaheim (Calif.) Servite quarterback Travis Waller, possibly a tip that the Golden Bears' coaching staff did not feel confident Friday morning.
Oregon was admittedly the early favorite according to White but the Ducks delayed an offer until days before a decision was to be made. In short, Oregon was late to the party.
A few weeks before White's decision, the four-star quarterback was expected to visit
Washington State but cancelled that trip after Upland, Calif., recruit
Tyler Hilinski committed there, days before White was supposed to be in Pullman. A visit to
Arizona happened but the Wildcats still trailed.
His mind was made up that Arizona State was the best fit for him.
The Sun Devils might not be done at Newhall Hart. It's accepted knowledge that White and four-star receiver
Trent Irwin are exceptionally close and playing together could be a major factor in Irwin's decision. All the time, players talk about package deals but this one seems to have some legs.
After all, Irwin caught 76 passes for 1,456 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. They play on the same 7-on-7 team. Both will be at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge
presented by Under Armour next month in Baltimore. White and Irwin have each said combining forces in college is under serious consideration. They're friends
-- and the Sun Devils could be the beneficiary.
It might be a while though. The feeling is that Irwin could wait some months to make his choice -- and there are plenty of other Pac-12 teams that have offered and others that could soon.
White said he's going to go after Irwin and take a marginally aggressive approach to recruit other 2015 standouts.
"I'm going to be in his ear, every day," White said of Irwin. "He knows. But as the quarterback I'm going to start to recruit the 2015 class and starting to get guys. That's also going to be exciting and I'm looking forward to getting in the ears of other recruits."
Arizona State landed a big prize on Friday. The Sun Devils got the quarterback they wanted. Now he turns to getting other top players to join him.