football Edit

CJ Fite appreciates the genuineness shown during his Tempe trip

(Cullen Fite Twitter)
(Cullen Fite Twitter)

Honesty is trait players seek in the recruiting process, and yet it often falls under the easier said than done category as prospects and coaches communicate. Yet, it’s a sentiment that Tatum (Tex.) 2023 defensive lineman Cullen (CJ) Fite has experienced not only since ASU offered him a couple of months ago but also during his recent official visit to a school he now has on his short list.

“The visit was really nice,” Fite said. “We had a real small group of people (recruits) there. 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 equal opportunity here.”

Arizona State offered the Texas defensive lineman a couple of months ago. Linebackers coach Chris Claiborne was the Sun Devil staff member who extended the offer, and naturally, soon thereafter, defensive lineman coach Robert Rodriguez was the ASU coach that Fite has been keeping in the closest contact with.

“Coach Rod is real and will always tell what he feels,” Fite describes. “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.”

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 this week released a top three of ASU, as well as UTSA, who he will this weekend, and Oregon State on June 23rd, which is scheduled to be his last visit before his commitment announcement prior to the beginning of his senior year. Fite added that Nebraska, TCU, Baylor, Tulane, and Kanas State were some of the schools that have pursued him this year.

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

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