Boardingham loves ASU’s all-in approach with his recruitment process
Arlis Boardingham is listed as a wide receiver but being recruited as a tight end. Perhaps it’s apropos when discussing the Arizona State recruit, where positions are not gridlocked but rather configured to the most logical fit.
Boardingham is a three-star recruit from Southern California, a towering 6-foot-5, 220-pound pass-catcher who ranks as a top-40 prospect in California. Arizona State first contacted him in the fall and offered him in mid-October.
Former ASU assistant Derek Hagan was the initial ASU contact for Boardingham before newly-hired tight ends coach Adam Breneman took over his recruitment. But here’s where the Sun Devils go positionless.
“Every coach on the staff hits me up. They want to make sure that I hear from them and that I know their dedication and how much they want me,” Boardingham said. “This is the only school that has done that … I think it’s crazy, especially because this has been a different experience with his (COVID) recruiting period. Just to know everyone wants to have me (at ASU) is definitely a blessing.”
Boardingham, a Class of 2022 prospect, currently holds a baker’s dozen of offers and noted that the three schools recruiting him the hardest are Texas, Colorado, and the Sun Devils.
“(The ASU coaches) have taken me through where they see me on the field. I like that,” Boardingham said. “When a school can let me know how they’re going to run their offense and how they’ll put me in it, it definitely (a good feeling).”
Boardingham said ASU has told him they would as a pass-catching tight end, a guy who can get down the field and make plays.
“They like my size and my speed, being able to be a playmaker in that playmaker position,” he said. “The coaches like to say that I am a mismatch wherever I go. I’m faster than most linebackers, and I’m bigger and faster than most corners. They like the concept that I can basically do a lot.”
It’s clear that Boardingham, at a minimum, is infatuated with ASU, with the demonstrated heavy desire the Sun Devils’ coaches have towards him and how offensive coordinator Zak Hill could use a tight end of his size and caliber.
In his sophomore season at Lake Balboa, Boardingham caught 54 passes for 910 yards and reeled in a dozen touchdowns, flashing some of that playmaking ability, the ASU coaches hope he showcases in Tempe.
“I have a big frame. I’m taller, but I’m also a speedy guy,” Boardingham said. “I would compare myself, if anything, to a Calvin Johnson, DK Metcalfe, or somewhere along those lines, or like Travis Kelce. Big, fast, and able to catch.”
It may be a while before fans learn where Boardingham is going. He said he probably won’t narrow his schools down to a top list until close to the end of senior year and then commit that winter. For now, Boardingham said, he’s focused on track season, where he competes in the long jump, triple jump and holds a 10.9-second personal record in the 100-meter dash.
But he is undoubtedly intrigued with the Sun Devils.
“It’s definitely a school I’m keeping my eyes on,” Boardingham said. “Once again, they did connect with me, and I’ve done quite a bit of research on the school -- like how I’d fit in the offense. So they’re definitely a school I’m looking at.”
It also helps, Boardingham noted, that ASU boasts the ‘Pro Model’ where guys like Herm Edwards and Antonio Pierce could help guide him into the NFL.
“It’s definitely a huge factor just knowing that there are people who have done it before,” he said. “They know the steps to take, which gives you a bit of reassurance to know you’re not going in their blind. You’re not going into a place where people don’t know how to get you there.”
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