When some of the members of ASU's 2008 recruiting class arrive on campus the first week of June,…
‘ASU is a Getting Strong, Intelligent Player'
Mitchell noted that his tight end was slated to be a mid-year transfer, with Eastern Michigan his likely destination. When it was discovered that he needed one more class (which he took the final for this week), and that he would be a spring graduate the Rustlers' skipper decided to send out Malamala's highlight tape to several schools.
"A lot of schools contacted us back," Mitchell recalled, "and the three that seemed the most serious were Oregon, LSU, and Texas A&M. When Ryan Perrilloux left LSU they told me that they now have other priorities than tight end. They were very interested in Stanley."
Compared to the other suitors of the Golden West tight end, the Sun Devils entered the recruiting sweepstakes very late, "just a few weeks ago" according to Mitchell. Needless to say that recruiting coordinator Matt Lubick and the rest of the maroon and gold staff did a masterful job in a very short amount of time.
"I really thought he was going to sign with Oregon," said Mitchell. "Then Arizona State comes in and two things stood out to Stanley. He like their offense better because it's a pro-style offense that is very tight end friendly. It was also a situation where he would get a chance to play a lot in his first year."
As mentioned the 6-3 260 Malamala had a quiet year statistically. In six games for the 2-8 Rustlers, the newest Sun Devil caught 16 passes for 136 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Nonetheless, he was selected second team in the American Division of the Mission Conference. As the old football cliché' goes ‘game film doesn't lie' and Malamala garnered not only the attention of Golden West's opponents, but also the schools pursuing him.
"What those schools saw on film is a player that's a good blocker who's very aggressive at the point of attack," said Mitchell. "He follows instructions very well. He runs great routes, does a good job tracking the ball and has soft hands. We had a 5-9 quarterback who had a hard time throwing over the middle to Stanley. He didn't catch a lot of balls but we definitely tried to throw more to him."
Malamala is scheduled to attend ASU's first summer school session in the first week of June, and will also participate in the team's off-season conditioning program. The tight end, who hails from Lahaina Luna High School in Maui, is a two-for-two player in terms of eligibility.
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