Aaron Pflugrad can't be fazed in the least bit by fall camp. The Sun Devil wide receiver was attending August wide receivers meetings with the Washington State Cougars when he was in sixth grade.
"Growing up, I was always around it," Pflugrad (pronounced "Flu-grad) said.
Pflugrad, now a junior at Arizona State who figures to see playing time as a slot receiver when the college football season begins, is the son of Montana head coach Robin Pflugrad. The elder Pflugrad has a long career in coaching, with stops at Portland State, Montana, ASU as wide receivers coach from 1995 to 2000, Washington State, Oregon and back to Montana in 2009 to coach receivers before becoming head coach earlier this year.
Consequently, Aaron grew up around football and had the benefit of learning from his dad and other top college assistants. He was a ballboy for the Cougars in tiny Pullman, Wash., then chose to start his college career with the Ducks. But he transferred after two years and chose to sit out the 2009 season per NCAA transfer rules so he could play for Dennis Erickson in Tempe.
Erickson, then the head coach at Idaho, recruited Pflugrad in 2006 when he was in high school, and offered him a scholarship. Pflugrad chose Oregon, where his father was coaching.
"It was a family draw. I wanted my family to watch me," Pflugrad said.
Pflugrad left Oregon when his dad went to Montana. He'd spent six years living in the Phoenix area when Robin was on the ASU staff, so returning to the Valley was like a homecoming.
Pflugrad could have transferred to Montana and played last season, but opted to wait until this season to join Erickson so he could play in a high-tempo offense.