“This was my first time visiting here, I brought my parents and my brother and we saw everything,” said the 6-1 220 pound Carlos Mendoza. “We talked to the academic people and they showed us how much they help the players with their studies and getting a degree and that is where my mom was sold. They gave us a tour of the whole campus and it just felt right and felt comfortable.
“So I made the commitment and I know that this is the best decision for me.”
The linebacker said that the overall support that the student-athletes receive at ASU was the aspect that impressed him the most.
“I always thought that when I was going to go to college that I was just going to be lost in the beginning,” Mendoza confessed. “I thought I would have to figure a lot of the stuff on my own. But I learned how hands-on they are with your school work and everything else. That made me feel very comfortable.
“Having a good Kinesiology school was something else I was looking for and Arizona State had that.”
Needless to say that the style of play was another aspect that convinced Mendoza that to settle on the Sun Devils.
“Coach (Trent) Bray was showing me game film and I was convinced that this is the type of defense I want to play in,” Mendoza remarked. “There is a lot of intensity and passion and this defense just lays it all on the line.
“After he showed us the film we asked for privacy for a few minutes and talked about my decision. Then we obviously told coach Bray that I’m committing and he was very excited. He said that he really wanted me to come there for a while and he can’t wait for me to come out there and be part of the team.”
Mendoza has been on the varsity team since his sophomore year and started all 14 games at linebacker while splitting time at running back as well. He earned All-League, All-County and All-CIF honors last year while playing at one of the premier high schools in Southern California.
In 2010 he posted 437 rushing yards (averaging over 5 yards a carry) and eight touchdowns on offense, while collecting 74 total tackles and five sacks on defense. The linebacker reported a 40-yard time of 4.49, as well as weight room marks of 285 lbs. on the power clean and 305 benching. It is that combination of strength and speed that has caught the eye of ASU and Mendoza’s other suitors.
“Mendoza is a big hitter and an aggressive player who's got good instincts,” said Scout.com’s West Coast Recruiting Analyst Brandon Huffman, “great agility and a real knack for the ball. He's probably better suited to play safety in college at this point, his skill set, should he continue to get bigger, could make him a solid outside linebacker.”
“The coaches like how fast I am for a linebacker,” said Mendoza who reported a 4.49 40-time, “I also playing running back and coach Bray said that he can tell how fast I am playing that position too. He said he liked how emotional of a player I am and how I bring a lot of passion, but that I’m also a smart player who has good focus.”
Mendoza, who also had offers from Washington State and New Mexico State commented that his pledge to Arizona State is solid and that he has no intentions keeping his option open.
“I’m fully committed,” Mendoza said. “I told my parents that once I was making a commitment it was going to be 100 percent and I wasn’t going to look around at other schools.”
Mendoza isn’t the only Oaks Christian High School player ASU covets, as the Sun Devils are in heavy pursuit after his teammates wide receiver Jordan Payton and cornerback Ishmael Adams.
“All three of us talked about possibly playing for the same school,” Mendoza admitted. “Now that I committed I’ll talk to them again.”
To view Mendoza’s 2010 highlight tape click here Watch Video