The new Arizona State coaching staff under Todd Graham has had tremendous success on the field as the Sun Devils are currently #19 in the latest BCS Poll. The Sun Devils play disciplined and dynamic football, and last week, they showed the ability to come back and win late in the fourth quarter going against the odds on the road in Utah.
This tremendous success can be seen off the field. The ASU coaching staff works just as hard in their recruiting responsibilities, and currently, the class is shaping up nicely with its verbal commitments. However, expect bigger things to come later in the recruiting cycles as this coaching staff has shown the ability to close with impact players.
In 2012, Coach Graham’s first Sun Devil signing class, the coaches received signatures from impact players on Signing Day: safety Laiu Moeakiola, defensive tackle Jaxon Hood, and junior college running back Marion Grice. As a true freshman, Moeakiola put himself into the two-deep and even got an interception before injuring his hamstring and redshirting. Hood was a Freshman All-American with 26 tackles and three sacks. Junior running back Grice has been the center piece of the Sun Devil offense for two seasons. Last season, Grice had 19 touchdowns, and this season, he is currently tied for second in the nation in scoring with 18 touchdowns in nine games.
The 2013 recruiting class closed out with safety Marcus Ball, defensive lineman Corey Smith, and wide receiver Cameron Smith, and well after signing day, kicker Zane Gonzalez. Ball was slated to be the starter at field safety before his pre-season injury to his shoulder, which has led to his planned redshirt. Cameron Smith has shown star potential at wide receiver with tremendous athleticism, speed and route running. Corey Smith will redshirt, but he figures to be a force on the defensive line for many years. Gonzalez has settled in nicely as he is currently 17 for 20 in field goals and 44 for 45 in extra points, which puts him as the country’s eighth highest scorer (third in place kickers).
The 2014 class has shaped up very well with key players, but based on how this ASU program operates — both on and off the field — expect an even stronger finish to the 2014 recruiting class with key contributors.