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January 5, 2012Arizona State's new coaching staff, working to secure its commitments, visited many of those prospects on the first day of this year's contact period, including two of Long Beach Poly's five pledges to the Sun Devils.
"The new coaches were really cool, it was a great visit because it answered a lot of questions and let us know where they were coming from," receiver Richard Smith said of his dialogue with Mike Norvell and DelVaughn Alexander. "One of the things I like is that because they're new, everyone starts the same with them. There are no favorites or anything like that with them. I like that, especially because they'll have a lot of new receivers because of all the guys that left."
Norvell and Alexander, who was announced as a staff addition Wednesday, met with Poly's offensive recruits, while others met with its defensive commits.
"I thought it was great," Josiah Blandin said. "They're meeting with all of us individually and were letting me know how much they still want me to be there, how everyone is starting on the same page. I had a really good vibe with them and liked how they were talking about everything."
Blandin said he hasn't set up any other official visits and probably wouldn't. A UCLA unofficial visit may be in the cards but he considers his pledge to ASU solidified following Wednesday's visit.
"Oh, I am solidly committed," Blandin said. "I'm looking forward to our official visit (Jan. 20) we all take together, but as far as I'm concerned, as long as nothing unexpected happens there, that's where I'm going."
Smith has an official visit to Oregon State planned for Jan. 27, and also is expected to stop by UCLA for an unofficial visit, but said he's leaning heavily toward signing with ASU at this stage of the process.
"My parents got a lot of things answered that made them happy," Smith said. "It was mostly about the academics part of it. They liked hearing how committed they are to student-athletes, the type of support that they get at ASU; like for example, how there is mandatory study hall and it's not like a regular hall where you study on your own, it's the type of thing where you get 1-on-1 tutoring. Like that really made my mom feel good about everything.
"For me it'll still come down to my official visit. I'm kind of waiting until then to see how that goes because the school and everything is the same but the coaches and everyone we'd be around every day are all different. So if I'm real comfortable on the visit that'll make me feel really good about the situation."