September 22, 2008

Sirles impressed by ASU

Lakewood (Colo.) Bear Creek offensive tackle Jeremiah Sirles was among the official visitors in Tempe for the Arizona State versus Georgia football game. He spoke with upon returning home.

The No. 48 offensive tackle in the country and No. 7 recruit in Colorado, Sirles has recently listed Nebraska and Oregon as co-leaders for his services, with Arizona State running third.

But the 6-foot-7, 285-pounder had already visited Nebraska and Oregon prior to his trip to ASU, so those schools had that as an advantage.

Following the visit to ASU, that's no longer true.

"The whole campus was awesome," Sirles said. "The facilities, I didn't think they'd be as good as they were but how much they stood out really surprised me."

Sirles was hosted by fellow Coloradoan Jack Elway.

"He just took me out and he introduced me to some of the offensive linemen," Sireles said of Elway. "They told me how cool (offensive line) coach (Gregg) Smith is and what the team is like. The guys were great."

One of the things Sirles is focusing on is a chance to play wherever he goes.

"The coaches have said that I have a good chance to compete right away and said I could be starting start pretty early if I do well," Sirles said. "I really want to go somewhere I'll have a chance, but also somewhere that is going to have a really good program at the same time. It's not just about playing on a team that isn't very good."

Sirles said that the official visit, his first, was better than the previous unofficial trips he's taken to other schools in terms of the scope of what he was able to see and do.

"I wasn't sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed it," Sirles said. "My dad was with me, he loved it to. He thought it was great. One of the most impressive parts was the way the academic side of everything is set up. They really have it done well it seems like. The way it's done, it's almost impossible to fail. There is so much support for [student-athletes]. It was unreal how it was set up."

There has been speculation that ASU is possibly trailing the other schools on Sirles' list because of concerns about the hot weather in Arizona. That isn't going to be a deciding factor, the lineman said.

"Definitely not," Sirles said. "I'm going to consider weather like I will everything else but it's not like that's going to be some big thing. I mean it was hot but almost every person I talked to said that it's really nice most of the year."

A decision is expected from Sirles in October, following official visits to Nebraska on Oct. 3 and Oregon on Oct. 10.

"I'd like to make my commitment by the time playoffs start, like the end of October. It might even be sooner, after I take that last visit. We'll see how much I have to think about after that last visit and how tough the decision is at that point.

"I just want to make sure I am able to find a stable coaching staff that is going to stay there a while. Like when I met with coach (Dennis) Erickson (Sunday) I asked him if he saw himself staying at ASU for a while and he said that it's where he wants to retire. That's something that will be a factor."

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