football Edit

ASU’s team culture resonates with 2022 OL Matt Fries

Camaraderie and cohesiveness are traits crucial for the success of a team’s front five, which is no surprise why those traits were not only the ones that Matt Fries paid carefully to during his official visit to Arizona State and the ones the offensive lineman prospect was pleased to learn how they are effectively practiced in Tempe.

“I really liked my visit,” said the Cranford, NJ offensive lineman. “I enjoyed my time, and I appreciate the staff doing everything for me out there. What really stood out to me was, of course, what the coaching staff has been stressing for my recruitment, just how comfortable everyone feels there, and how everyone has their own personality, and they can really be themselves. Players can enjoy themselves and I also like their pro model as well as and their team-led culture, rather than a coach-led culture.”

“I really enjoyed talking to (offensive line) coach Cavanaugh and (tight ends) coach Breneman. I talked to coach Cavanaugh on the phone almost every day talking. Both of us are East coast guys, so we get along really well. He's an awesome guy who everyone on the staff seems to look up to him as an uncle. He’s really great. Coach Breneman being pretty young, you can really relate to him because he's been through this process not too long ago. You know he's really looking out for your best interest, one way or another.”

Fries was measured at 6-4 275 lbs. during his visit and said that the Sun Devil staff could see him firring in Tempe as either an offensive tackle or guard.

“Coach Cavanaugh likes my fast feet, and he believes in having very athletic linemen that can play either position. He also likes my length and my finishing and said that he would develop me into a position wherever I could best help the team. Watching film with him, I could tell they run a little bit different than a pro-style offense. But I think I fit in very well with the pass protection and also fit in well with the run blocking being physical and putting guys on the ground. So I think I would fit in very well.”

Fries was hosted by LaDarius Henderson and appreciated the honest perspective the current ASU offensive lineman provided in terms of an insight into the life of being a member of the Sun Devil team.

“I got along with him great,” Fries described. “He was saying very similar things to what the coaches were saying being a player-led team; they're very accountable. It's a very competitive culture everywhere in the classroom, the weight room, on the field; they're going to compete with every rep. And that competition is something that he stressed a lot. But, like I said before, he also says that they'd like for you to have your life outside of football. You can still take it just as seriously as anywhere else.

“I came on the trip with both of my parents and my younger sister. I think the campus is beautiful. There's really nothing to complain about it, and it’s a beautiful city. And the academics are great. I'm looking to major in business, and they have a top 25 Business School. It's amazing. This visit definitely exceeded my expectations.”

The linemen admitted that seeing Sun Devil Stadium nestled in between two buttes was one part of his visit that “blew me away” and that he could only imagine how loud the venue would be in an “amazing game day experience.”

Fries visited Wake Forest the first weekend of June, and an unofficial visit to Penn State tomorrow will be followed by an official visit to Indiana on Friday, and a week later, the lineman will be headed to Illinois for an official visit. Fries stated that he didn't have a timetable for his commitment announcement or future visit plans.

Needless to say that Arizona State is the school furthest away from home that he’s considering, but Fries is won’t let that singular factor dictate his ultimate decision.

“I have the same attitude about playing away from home after my Arizona State visit tan I had before it,” Fries noted. “I really wasn't too worried about. My brother played at Penn State, and even though he wasn’t too far, just four hours (driving) away, he was very rarely home. So I don't think that going to college away from home would be a big deal. It’s just four years, and I'm getting an opportunity to play and get my education paid for. So, going away won't be the worst thing.

“The three things I look for a school, not really in a particular order, are the culture of the team and the people there, the academics and the football team. Football is football, whether it’s in the Big Ten or Pac-12. But I think what’s really important are the people you're around and where you think you'll set yourself up for development in the future.”

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