Ozier’s Sun Devil journey a test of adversity, commitment

SAN DIEGO, CA-Sometimes life comes full-circle.

Kevin Ozier can relate.

The Arizona State senior wide receiver will take the field for a final time Monday night in the Holiday Bowl in his hometown. It’s only fitting it comes here in San Diego where Ozier prepped at Mira Mesa High School.

His five-year stay in Tempe has been quite a journey. From walking-on in 2009 before eventually earning a scholarship, to a coaching change from Dennis Erickson to Todd Graham, Ozier has seen it all.

“I came from a long journey [here] at ASU,” Ozier said after a recent practice. “It’s kinda a bittersweet-type feeling. I’m ready to see what life brings me next but I’m going to miss my teammates.”

They, along with Graham, will certainly miss him, as well.

“It’s a great success story,” Graham explained. “It wasn’t easy for him…he had to work and earn [the scholarship]. It was a road less traveled. At one point I think he lived out of his car. He’s a guy that fits close to my heart.”

A high school quarterback, Ozier has turned into one of the Sun Devils most trusted receivers coming up with several big catches as his playing time increased the last two years in offensive coordinator Mike Norvell’s up-tempo offense. He hauled in two touchdowns in last year’s win at Cal and this season he’s caught 21 catches for 323 yards. Most importantly, he’s averaged 15.4 yards per reception.

As you can imagine his phone has been buzzing since ASU accepted the bowl invite to face Texas Tech (7-5).

“I’ve asked teammates for extra tickets, he said flashing a big smile. “I have to let everyone know I might not have enough tickets.”

Ozier has collected over 25 tickets for family and friends as the Devils (10-3) look to become only the sixth team in program history to win 11 games.