December 16, 2008

Abele talks ASU

Irvine (Calif.) High offensive tackle Nik Abele is one of Arizona State's top offensive line targets of this recruiting cycle.

The 6-foot-6, 256-pound lineman currently is ranked as the 64th best player in California at any position according to Rivals.com.

Abele officially visited Arizona State this weekend.

"The visit went pretty well." Abele said. "I came with my family had a good time. We got in on Saturday actually because I took the ACT in the morning. I think that went alright. It's kind of boring but it is something that you have to do.

"We got in late on Saturday. So all we did that day was eat dinner with everyone. I got the full tour of the campus and facilities on Sunday."

Coach Matt Lubick has been recruiting Abele since last spring. At dinner Saturday Abele's mother found out that she grew up close by and attended high school with Arizona State verbal commitment Shane McCullen's mother who was also visiting with her son.

"On Sunday I got to talk to Coach Erickson and Coach Lubick," Abele said. "They told me that they really liked my film and they like how I play. They said that they would really like to have me there. It was cool.

"I didn't think about committing on visit. I want to keep my options open. I like that ASU is close to home and that my family could come watch me. There is a lot of stuff to do around there. The coaches said that there is a possibility for me to play early. The coaches want to set up and in-home visit with me in January."

Earlier this summer, Rivals.com Recruiting Analyst Jeremy Crabtree touted Abele as breakout performer after strong performances in June at the Trojans' Big Man Camp and also at USC's Rising Stars Camp.

The scouting report on Abele is that he has quick feet and long arms. He also demonstrates a competitive fire during the drills. He also is very fast for a big man. He will be able carry a lot more weight without losing any quickness or athleticism.

Abele's size and strength allow him to be a versatile player, but it's his attitude and toughness that set him apart. When previously asked to list his strengths, Abele told Rivals.com.

"I guess my body type and my ability to work hard and my toughness," Abele said. "All of the colleges tell me how they like how I like to get after people and hit them."

Abele, a two-way starter as an offensive tackle and defensive end, missed three games as a junior due to a broken jaw. He still ended up earning first-team all-league from his defensive end spot as a junior.

As a senior, Abele helped to lead Irvine to an 8-4 record and the CIF quarterfinals. He also earned first-team all-county honors.

"I am pretty wide open," Abele said. "I don't want to say which schools are higher than the rest because I want to take all my visits and then figure it out. I have offers from ASU, Colorado, Oregon State, UCLA, CAL, Utah and then there some others that I told that I wasn't interested in anymore.

"Besides ASU I have visited Colorado already. I am going to visit Utah next week, UCLA on January 9th, and Oregon State the weekend after that and then we will probably drive up to Cal for an unofficial. I plan to make my decision after my trips."

Abele plans on making his final decision in January after he has visited his top schools.

"Playing early is important to me," Abele said. "I also want to see if the team is a family, how they get along. I want to figure out where I would fit in the best at."

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