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December 18, 2010Within hours of hours of his team's 15-13 loss to Palo Alto in the CIF state championship Division I game Friday, Corona (Calif.) Centennial quarterback Michael Eubank had turned his attention to determining where he'd play his next game.
Saturday he committed to Arizona State.
The decision further strengthened the pipeline between on of the nation's most talent-filled schools and Arizona State, which already boasts five scholarship player from the school, headlined by star linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
"I talked it over with my mom and with my pastor in church and really wanted to get the recruiting process over because obviously I didn't want to take all the trips in January," Eubank said. "I'm going to leave for college soon so I wanted to get all the time I can with my family. I knew I had a Top-3 of Washington, Arizona and Arizona State and I looked at academics, coaches, environment, weather and other factors and ASU was just the right fit all the way around."
Eubank, a relatively mobile 6-foot-5 pro style quarterback ranked No. 13 at the position nationally by Rivals.com, said offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone gave ASU a tug-o-war win over Arizona -- which has former Centennial quarterback Matt Scott on its roster -- in the recruitment.
"It did definitely feel like I was getting pulled between ASU and Arizona and I had to look at what the best situation was for me and not for the alumni at the school or the other people at the school or my former teammates," Eubank said. "I had to sit back and really think about myself and where I fit and where I can get a chance to play and be successful and ASU was just the best fit for me so I decided to go with it.
"Definitely what put it over the top was that coach Mazzone is a great coach and the fact their offense is just like my high school offense and they would like to have a quarterback who can run the ball as well as throw the ball and that's definitely a feature I have. And also just to get a chance to work with a great coaching staff. They're up and coming, a very good program. I'm just glad I can add some extra help to a program that is already good."
Mazzone's experience at the professional level with the New York Jets and coaching several star players, including NFL standout Philip Rivers for a year at NC State, was confidence inspiring and made the decision a comfortable one according to Eubank.
"He tells me if I work hard and if I work the way I should I can definitely be a first-round (NFL) draft pick," Eubank said. "He's coached first-round draft picks and said I definitely have the work ethic and desire for it, I just need to transfer that over to college and the sky is the limit for me."
Eubank reportedly had offers from Cincinnati, UNLV and Vanderbilt in addition to his top three of ASU, Arizona and Washington. He completed 172 of 251 pass attempts for 2,877 yards with 25 touchdowns and only three interceptions as a senior for 14-1 Centennial. He also rushed for 1,165 yards on 120 carries with 18 rushing touchdowns.
"When I committed I talked to coach Erickson first," Eubank said. "I let him know my decision and he was excited about it. I don't think he was expecting the call. I called him, talked to him. I talked to coach Mazzone also, they were both excited. I'm excited to get out there and get coached by a great quarterbacks coach and head coach."
Receivers coach Steve Broussard was Eubank's primary recruiter for the Sun Devils and also contributed to the signal caller's belief in the program.
"Coach Broussard was the main one who was recruiting me," Eubank said. "I enjoy him and our conversations a lot. He's a really good coach, really good guy. He knows what he's doing I'm excited to work with him and the receivers."
In the coming months Eubank said he'll work at the Gridiron Football Academy on his release, agility, speed and endurance with a mindset of trying to earn the starting nod upon arrival at ASU, no matter how much of a longshot he is.
If he signs with the Sun Devils in February, Eubank would give ASU six scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. ASU will also add Taft (Calif.) signal caller Michael Bercovici in January as a mid-year transfers.
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