Small Town Safford Produces Big Time Talent

Ralph Frias isn’t just the big man on campus.

He’s the big man in town.

Located in southeastern Arizona sits the farming and mining town of Safford and one of the state’s up-and-coming football recruits in the 6’6″, 310-pound sophomore Frias.

“Very small town,” Frias said with a slight grin when asked about his “celebrity” status down south by after the Bulldogs (2-1) dispatched Apache Junction 55-34 Friday night. “A lot of people know me.”

Soon many more will know of Frias not only in Arizona, but up and down the west coast if the fleet-footed underclassman continues to improve. Much of his growth on the gridiron can be attributed to his time on the basketball court where he competed on varsity as a freshman last winter.

“It helps me out a lot,” Frias explained. “The small steps, the techniques. It’s helped me become a better offensive lineman.”

He won’t get any argument from his head coach.

“He’s playing with a lot more confidence,” Michael Alba said before loading up his team for the happy three-hour bus trip down south. “He’s really becoming more of a leader. That’s one thing we really like from him right now.”

Some of those traits were likely passed down from Frias’ father.

“My dad played back in Superior,” he said. “He was number 77 also…I just took after him. Took left tackle. That’s his position.”

With more seasoning and future impressive game tape against better competition Frias could be positioning himself for a Division I scholarship in the coming years. He has yet to receive an offer but is being monitored closely by ASU and has interest from Arizona and New Mexico State.

His mean streak on the field doesn’t carry over off it according to Alba.

“He likes to have fun,” he explained. “Anything he can do to laugh and dance, it’s all Ralph. He’s dancing all the time.”

Sounds like something else is helping enhance those nimble feet.