February 6, 2008

Getting to know: Steven Figueroa

Arizona State is expected to sign Phoenix Desert Vista tight end Steven Figueroa on Wednesday. Figueroa played in the Offense-Defense All-American Game last month after a solid senior season which led to all-city honors. He is the No. 2 ranked tight end in the state's 2008 class.

Name: Steven Figueroa

Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.
School: Desert Vista HS
Position: Tight End
Height: 6-4
Weight: 235 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.7 seconds
Bench max: 335 pounds
Squat max: 385 pounds
Vertical leap: 33 inches

Senior Stats: Including three all-star games: 24 catches 328 yards and three touchdowns

Senior Honors: Team Captain, Offense-Defense All-American Game selection, Arizona Sonoran game, 5A vs.4A all-Arizona game participant, all-city

Rivals.com Rankings: No. 21 tight end nationally; No. 11 recruit in Arizona

Offers: Oregon State, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, San Diego State, UNLV,

Favorite Food: "Native New Yorker. I've gone just about every Tuesday the last two years. "It was 25 cents (for wings) and now it's 30 cents. I usually get 36 (Honey BBQ) with chili cheese fries. Justin Perry, an offensive tackle, he ate like 63 or something one time. He usually orders 40-45 but he's on a diet now."

Favorite Drink: Gatorade -- Strawberry

Favorite movie: 300

Favorite music type/artist: Everything.

Favorite NFL Player: Antonio Gates

Favorite hobbies: hanging out with friends, going to Native, playing sports.

Role Model: "Doug Christofis, our strength and conditioning coach at DV. He's always been very motivational. My strength coach all four years. Knows when to be serious, real good guy. Knows a lot of about everything, great person to be around. Helped me a lot about getting stronger, gaining weight, lifts. Making me a better athlete."

Best sports memory: "I'd probably say making state (championship) game even though we didn't win against Brophy Prep in the stadium where the Cardinals play. That was probably the best experience for everyone on our team."

First time he knew he was good: I played varsity my sophomore year but I split reps with another tight end. I was always a basketball player and wasn't that good until my sophomore year. Freshman year I didn't play offense, I played defensive end. When I got my first offer from UNLV it surprised me. I was 185 pounds my junior year. After UNLV, I got my next seven offers within three weeks. I played at about 218 pounds last season and now I weigh about 234 pounds."

On eventually moving to ASU: "I'm really excited for it. High school is pretty easy school wise, second semester. I'm looking forward to living on my own and I will probably be living with Chris Jones, a (DV) running back walking on. I've heard from college friends and know it's totally different from home with mom. You have a lot of freedom but with freedom comes responsibility. "I'm hoping to contribute my freshman year and just getting better and trying to help our team. That's another big thing. Meeting kids from around the country will be great."

On his decision to attend ASU: "I would say being in-state was probably one of the biggest things. In the Pac-10 I had two offers and I lived in Arizona my entire live, never lived out of state, that was biggest thing. I have my Mom and Dad here, a lot of friends and kids I already know go to ASU, and that was the biggest thing. With the depth chart it looks like I have a chance to play early."

On his goals for the coming year: I'm hoping to start actually because when I took my visit I was sitting with coach Cozzetto and coach Erickson and he told me he was willing to look at possibly starting two freshman next year, me and Dan Knapp, depending on how things go. He just said, 'If you come in and bust your ass and learn your plays and we feel you're ready, I'm going to let you play.' "So hopefully I can start as true freshman, but if I'm not starting I'm not going to be too upset about it. I'm just looking forward to the opportunity."

On his signing day plans: "We're going to Marjele's (restaurant) because we have like 9-10 people signing. We have five D1 guys four D2. We're meeting at DV at 7:30 a.m. We sign around 8 a.m. and whole team is going to Marjele's at 9 a.m.

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