Natrell Curtis says he hasn't just sensed a change, one has slapped him across the face. He admits that he once had some not-so-positive notions about in-state programs Arizona and Arizona State under their old leadership. Those thoughts, it would seem, have since been vanquished. No, erased.
No, scrubbed from existence.
"The staff at ASU now is so much different," Curtis, a 2014 prospect, said after Sun Devils coaches dropped by his school early this week. "They are recruiting us Arizona guys hard. It shows me that they really care. They want us to stay home. It's, by far, different. I kind of felt like the old staff was the reason a couple hometown players left. If there's a kid out of state and a kid in state, if it's even between them, they are always going to go with the in-state player.
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"It's different now. Now, staying home looks good. You could play in front of fans and family and all that."
And so Curtis will follow up with Todd Graham's staff. The four-star offensive guard plans to attend Arizona State's junior day this offseason. He also plans to hit similar events at both UCLA and Arizona. Other than that, he's still sorting out his summer. The calendar could fill up in a hurry, though.
Recently, it seems, everyone wants to get a foot in the door.
Asked to pick out a singular coach who impressed him over the course of the day, Curtis went with another Grand Canyon State program. The 285-pound lineman that once seemed like a sure thing to flee the desert for college suddenly has a soft spot for home. Funny how things change.
"Coach [Charlie] Ragle from U of A, he stood out," Curtis said."
Curtis declines to name any early favorites, but has previously claimed Arkansas was the frontrunner in his recruitment. The statement is one from which the Phoenix Mountain Pointe junior has since backed away.
As a junior at Mountain Pointe, Curtis played on both the offensive and defensive line. He helped lead his team to a 12-2 record and an appearance in the state title game.
Curtis claims 12 scholarship offers in a total and is close with 2013 prospect and current UCLA commit Kenny Lacy.