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2023 Texas defensive lineman CJ Fite commits to Sun Devils

ASU lands its fourth pledge of the recruiting class and the second one from the state of Texas (Cullen Fite Twitter)
ASU lands its fourth pledge of the recruiting class and the second one from the state of Texas (Cullen Fite Twitter)

There are those prospects who choose to engage in a long recruiting process, and there are those such as Tatum (Tex.) 2023 defensive lineman Cullen (CJ) Fite, who didn't need much time to make up their mind. A spring offer by ASU, followed by a June official visit to Tempe, culminated on Sunday with a pledge to the Sun Devils.

“When I decide which school to choose, I’m going to look at their strength program.” Fite stated in a previous interview, “The connection between the players and coaches, the type of culture the team has and do the players enjoy playing for the coaches.”

While linebackers coach Chris Claiborne was the Sun Devil staff member who extended the offer to Fite back in April, soon thereafter, defensive lineman coach Robert Rodriguez was the ASU coach that Fite has been keeping in the closest contact with, and the two formed a strong bond.

“Coach Rod is real and will always tell what he feels,” Fite described. “He’s just not gonna say anything to make you come here. He will always give you the truth. He told me at the beginning (of the recruiting process), ‘I’m gonna tell you what I want to tell you, and if you want to come, you can, and play for him you can.’ His NFL experience helps you a lot because you know he can give good insight. He was telling me how he helped the D-tackle they had here (DJ Davidson) because he knew what drug scouts look for in the NFL. He helped him get better when he started coaching (at ASU), and when it was time for him to get drafted, everything that that NFL were looking for was there.”

His impressions during his official visit last month ultimately played a significant role in today’s decision.

“We had a real small group of people (recruits) there,” Fite said. “So there was a lot more intimacy, you were able to talk to coaches more, and it wasn’t rushed. You feel loved, and the coaches showed that they want you. And the coaches didn’t talk just about football but also about life. The coaches explained that it’s not just about football, and there are a lot more advantages to going there and playing for them.

“I was hosted by BJ (Green), and he told me that you don’t earn playing time by seniority. If you come in and you work, then you have a chance to play. He first came in here as a freshman walk-on, but he worked his butt off, and that shows that there’s an equal opportunity here.”

Fite added that Rodriguez sees him as a very athletic 3-technique interior lineman that is both adept at pass rush and run stopping and added that he would need to add weight to his 6-1 283-pound frame.

The lineman chose ASU over the other two teams on his short list of Oregon State and UTSA. Nebraska, TCU, Baylor, Tulane, and Kanas State were some of the other schools that pursued Fite earlier this year.

With Fite's announcement, ASU has now landed its fourth pledge of the recruiting class and the second one from the state of Texas.

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