By. Haley Stesiak
Arizona State senior Kody Kohl grew up about 12 miles away from Sun Devil Stadium in Gilbert, Arizona. If you had told him back in high school he’d end up a starting tight end at ASU, he probably wouldn’t have believed you.
Looking back on his last four years in maroon and gold, Kohl has seen himself grow as a player and as a person.
“I remember freshman year coming in, I came in and I was thinking I should play because I thought I was on a pedestal and I thought I was better,” Kohl said. “I came to a realization when I was on the scout team…I was being immature outside of football and I wasn’t totally focused in on school when I first came in.”
Once he started to put a focus on school he saw his mindset change, Kohl said.
“As soon as I started taking school seriously that’s when football started falling in line for me,” Kohl said.
Kohl has a rich family background with ASU football. His father, Matthew played for the Sun Devils in 1982. Then his brother Trevor was a star tight end from 2009-2011.
He didn’t always have his sights set on becoming a Sun Devil, however.
Kohl didn’t have any offers until the summer before his senior year when he attended a one-day camp at ASU. It was that day that he got an offer to be a Sun Devil.
“I remember hearing about my dad playing and then Trevor when we were growing up together, he was always talking about how he wants to play at ASU,” Kohl said. “Seeing my brother go for his goal, it kind of made me want to be a Devil too, and now I am.”
Football holds a high priority for Kohl, but family is most important.
“After the game win or lose I’m always exhausted,” Kohl said. “I’m happy when we win, but I’m still tired and beat up. It’s so nice to have somebody to hug on, that’s the first thing I do. I love making them proud.”
Kohl’s motivation to work hard comes from admiring his father’s work ethic as he grew up, Kohl said.
“My dad worked from sun up to sun down,” Kohl said. “It was motivating for me because he was working so hard for me to be successful, and I kind learned how to work off of him.”
That motivation carries with him throughout his day-to-day activities, and onto the football field.
“We do the rock walk (before the game) and the first 50 yards they tell you to think about the people that sacrifice for you. Every single time I’ll think about my dad.”
Kohl’s father coached him from his very first game through his sophomore year of high school football. His last two years, he went to different coaches because his father wanted him to be coachable, Kohl said.
“Whenever I played for my dad it was just about having fun,” Kohl said. “It was never about winning or losing, it was about learning.”
Kohl played every position when his father coached, to help him get a better sense of the game, he said.
“I played offense and defense,” Kohl said “I even played quarterback. I wasn’t good, so I didn’t stay there, but I learned things.”
When all is said and done after this 2016 season, Kohl has only one thing he hopes to be remembered by.
“I want to be remembered as a Devil, that’s it,” Kohl said. “Just a Sun Devil for life.”