football Edit

Florida WR gives insight into his ASU offer

(Aramoni Rhone Photo)
(Aramoni Rhone Photo)

Like many across the country, Aramoni Rhone has been tuned in and kept up-to-date with the nationwide protests -- especially in his nearby downtown Orlando, Fla. -- sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. He sees the congregations forming from sea to sea, the outcry, and the marching. He notices the differing opinions and the calls for change.

And, from that, he is urged by the craving to learn, the desire to meet more people and hear different viewpoints.

“When I first saw the riots and everything happening, my mind changed like right off the bat,” Rhone said. “Once all that started kicking in and I see people burning down buildings, I was like, ‘I have to go out and explore the world’ … Growing up, I really haven’t been anywhere.”

As a result, Rhone, a 2021 three-star wide receiver prospect out of Plant City, Fla., has found an unexpected desire to leave the state of Florida to play college football.

At the moment, the 6-foot-5, 185-pound wide out holds 10 offers, including a pair from power-five programs.. And while Rhone said he believes more power-five offers are soon to roll in, he admitted it has been Iowa State, Cincinnati, Ohio and Arizona State that have been recruiting him the hardest.

He said the Sun Devils first contacted him on December 14, shortly after Rhone’s Jones High fell in the state championship game, and from there he began forming a relationship with Sun Devils’ defensive backs coach Chris Hawkins and wide receivers coach Derek Hagan before ASU handed him an offer at the end of January.

“We talk about everything, like outside of football. Like family issues, what we do on a day-to-day basis, basically like life things,” Rhone said of Hagan. “I feel great being able to talk to someone like that and to be able to talk more about our lives and what we’ve been through.”

The theme of Arizona State recruiting offseason has been height. They most seek the extra inches in the trenches, but notching a wide receiver with Rhone’s 6-foot-5 frame would be a welcome addition in Tempe.

And his height comes in handy on the football field. It’s not an accident Rhone’s nickname “Uptop.” That’s where he wants the ball. Put it high, and the air and Rhone will take his chances with his innate leaping and long arms. It’s really no surprise he compares himself to Randy Moss, perhaps the best jump-ball wide receiver of all time. There’s a reason receivers are described as employing a “Moss” to defensive backs when they snatch the ball over their head.

“I’m good at getting off the ball, getting upfield and scoring,” Rhone said. “I mean, all my catches were ‘Mosses.’”

The Sun Devils recently brought in a quartet of four-star receivers in the class of 2020 -- L.V. Bunkley-Shelton, Johnny Wilson, Chad Johnson Jr., and Elijhah Badger. While it doesn’t seem the Sun Devils have an immediate need at the position, there is always intrigue to add someone with Rhone’s size and athleticism.

Though he still has some time before he announces his commitment, Rhone is searching for a program that can fit his needs and hopes.

“Talking to guys that have the same mindset and who are trying to accomplish the same things as me,” he said.

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