“I really wanted to commit on the day that they offered me (Oct. 23rd),” Randall admitted. “But I wanted to talk to my parents and my brothers first and see how they felt about this. They gave me the green light and I was thinking ‘why wait?’
“It’s a big time school in the Pac-12 and it gets good exposure. I know I have a chance coming straight from a junior college to start right way. That was one of my biggest things in the recruiting process.”
Randall attended Pensacola (Fla.) High School and upon graduating followed in the footsteps of another Pensacola High School graduate, Patrick Norris, who played at Butler and was drafted by the Kansas City Royals. A shoulder surgery while playing at Butler forced him out of baseball, and he enrolled in a junior college in his hometown where he technically redshirted but in reality was just rehabbing his shoulder.
At that time he rethought his sports career path, and decided on playing football at Mesa.
In his first season of junior college football, The 6-0 180-pound Damarious Randall, who reported a 40-yard dash time of 4.4 seconds, is the proverbial stat sheet filler. Through eight games for the Thunderbirds, the sophomore has recorded seven interceptions, including one returned for a score, averaged 18.5 yards per punt return including a 53-yard return for a touchdown, averaged 29.4 yards per kick return, is second in team tackles with 59, and has posted 12 passes defended, three tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries.
“The Arizona State coaches like my man to man coverage,” Randall said in a previous interview. “They also like my ball skills. I’m blessed to have coaches at Mesa that put me in the right position to make plays. I do well in press and bump and run coverage. I've been told that I have a high Football IQ. I take a lot pride in playing on special teams and the Arizona State coaches talked to me about playing on all of the special teams’ units as a returner and a gunner.
“One thing I need to work on is staying lower in my backpedal.”
Randall, who is two for two in terms of eligibility, will graduate in May and as his season ends he know where his focus he’s going to be.
“I talked to Coach Graham and he was very excited when I committed and that I chose the Sun Devils,” Randall said. “He said that he was looking forward to big things from me next year and told me to focus on my grades so I can get in there after May.”
Minnesota, New Mexico, San Diego State and Utah State were some of the other schools that have offered the Thunderbird corner. Randall knows that his fine season at Mesa will attract some more suitors in the future despite tonight’s pledge to Arizona State.
“I may take some visits just to check out other schools,” Randall said. “But unless something drastically changes it’s still ASU. I spent a lot of one on one time with the coaches and they make me feel comfortable and made me feel that ASU is the perfect place to go.
“They got everything I’m looking for in a school.”
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