Kalen Ballage will carry nine scholarship offers into Saturday's Rivals Camp Series stop in Phoenix. It's just the start, but it's something. In fact, the Falcon (Colo.) High School athlete figures he might as well stop off with the intent of collecting a 10th while he's in the neighborhood.
Two birds, one stone and all that jazz.
He doesn't expect to leave Arizona State's campus empty handed, either. Ask Ballage about the upcoming visit, and he makes an offer from the Sun Devils seems like a mere formality.
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"I'm gonna go over there and visit while I'm down there," Ballage said. "They're going to offer me. That's what the coach said. He said they want to do it in person."
As of now, Ballage's knowledge of Todd Graham's program is limited. He admits that freely. It's part of the reason he's stopping by Tempe during his trip to the Grand Canyon State. His detour is a plan to remedy the situation.
"I barely know anything about Arizona State," he said. "I barely know anything about Arizona period. I just know it's warm down there and things like that. I'm excited to learn some more about it."
A two-way player at Falcon, Ballage's scholarship offers are not uniform. Oregon State, Washington and Utah have offered as a linebacker. His other six offers are at running back. When it comes to what side of the coin Arizona State might choose, though, things remain murky.
"Coach [Dan] Lanning told me they were fighting over me there," Ballage said. "He says they're fighting about which side they want me to play on."
Tennessee is also in pursuit of Ballage. That courtship has already moved to the stage of frequent phone conversations. It ends for now, but other programs seem to be lying in the weeds and biding their time.
Another spike in recruiting interest doesn't seems far away.
"I've gotten a whole bunch of letters from Oregon and other schools, but I haven't had too much verbal contact with them," Ballage said.
Declining to name early frontrunners is becoming the norm in recruiting, and Ballage's take in line with the trend. He says every school on his list stands on level footing as of now. This is the exploration stage. And Ballage is just as hesitant when it comes to slapping a timetable on a commitment, too.
"I'll do it whenever it feels right," he said. "I'm not going to wait until signing day or set a deadline. I'm just going to do it."
Ballage, a sprinter on his high school track team, runs the 100, 200 and also participates in a relay. He does not figure to run track in addition to playing football in college.