With 2013′s recruiting class in the books for Head Coach Todd Graham and his staff, it comes time to look ahead to the next crop of recruits the ASU coaches will be targeting for 2014.
One of the goals for recruiting next season will be keeping the local prospects at home. Controlling Arizona in recruiting was a focus for Todd Graham when he was hired and, while he has had some success, 2013 saw just a handful of local products commit to the Devils. 2014 is expected to be one of the best class in history for Arizona high school players. Graham and his coaches must come out of the recruiting period with some quality Arizona prospects or risk alienating local products like his predecessors.
The quarterback position must also be a priority. In his first two years in Tempe, Graham has failed to get a signal-caller to sign on the dotted line. While the position is still young with a junior (Taylor Kelly) and two sophomores (Michael Eubank, Mike Bercovici) on top of the depth chart, some new blood is a necessity under center.
Defense should also take priority with seven major contributors graduating after this season. Some needs were addressed in this last recruiting class, but more talent on the defensive side of the ball is a must for the unit to continue performing at a high level.
ASU has already picked up commitments from corner Jaleel Wadood and running back Michael Farmer, but here are some of their top targets for 2014:
1. QB Kyle Allen – The Scottsdale Desert Mountain signal-caller is one of the top QB recruits in the country. A dual-threat prospect who projects to fit well into ASU’s offense, Allen attended the Devils’ junior day in January and is fielding offers from Arizona, Boise State and UCLA to name a few. Arguably the state’s best recruit, Allen is a top priority for the coaching staff to keep in-state and show a commitment to building a proverbial wall around Arizona for recruiting.
2. G Natrell Curtis – Another talented local recruit, the Mountain Pointe offensive lineman is one of the best guard prospects in the country. A bruising run blocker, Curtis has offers from 14 different programs including Nebraska, Ohio State and Washington. With Evan Finkenberg and Jamil Douglas graduating after next season, talent along the offensive line is a major need that Curtis can help fill.
3. WR Jalen Brown – Curtis’ Mountain Pointe teammate, Brown is one of the best receiver prospects to come out of Arizona in recent history. The 6-2 wideout was the state’s Player of the Year in 2012 who torched opposing defenses for 67 catches, 1,235 yards and 18 TDs. Brown’s talent has caught the eye of many of the country’s top programs including Stanford, USC and Oklahoma. While the Devils did replenish their receiving corps with five receiver commits in the 2013 class, Brown’s talent would still be a welcome addition to a position in need of playmakers