With less than three weeks remaining before the National Signing Day, Head Coach Todd Graham and his staff are working on one of the program’s best recruiting classes on record. Coming off 10 wins and a PAC-12 South title, ASU has several holes to fill, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, where they expect to return just two full-time starters (Demarious Randall and Salamo Fiso) from 2013. The weeks leading up to Signing Day is comparable to a soap opera with players entering and exiting the folds of various schools, committing and de-committing at the drop of a hat and programs making final pitches to their most prized targets. For Arizona State, coming off a weekend which saw them host 18 of their top commitments and prospects, there are still several uncommitted players the Sun Devils are pitching hard to bring their talents to Tempe:
Casey Tucker, OT: One of the top offensive linemen to ever come out of Arizona, Tucker is a rare blend of size and athleticism that makes coaches salivate. Coming out of one of the state’s top high school programs in Chandler Hamilton, the 6-6, 290lb tackle is rated a five-star, blue chip lineman by most outlets and among the best at his position in the country. A mauling blocker with a mean streak, Tucker has all the talent to start right away. He has narrowed his decision down to the PAC-12′s best: ASU and Stanford, following his qualifying for the latter’s academic standards last week. With a crucial visit to Tempe scheduled for this weekend, Tucker could be making his much-anticipated decision by early next week.
Eric Lauderdale, WR: The Sun Devils had good luck with a junior college receiver last year (see Jaelen Strong) and will be looking for lightning to strike twice with Lauderdale. Like Strong, the Georgia native is a big target at 6-2, 197lbs and should create some matchup problems on the outside. Lauderdale put up impressive numbers in his only year in JUCO ball (60 catches, 917 yards, 7TDs) and looks tailor-made for the Arizona State passing attack. After his visit to Tempe this past weekend, the talented wideout is down to ASU and Florida for where he will attend this fall, with a decision expected this weekend.
Ty Barrett, OL: With his recent decommitment from TCU, the Sun Devils appear to be the front-runner for Barrett’s services. A versatile athlete capable of playing tackle or guard, Barrett has great size (6-5, 316lbs) and length that would be crucial for ASU’s offense going forward. Following Kammy Delp and Alex Anderson’s decommitments, the Devils can use all the talent up front they can muster and Barrett would look very good lined up in maroon and gold.
Deondre Clark, DE: Following Carl Bradford’s early exit to the NFL, ASU’s pass rush has taken a hit this offseason. A high motor, speed rusher like Clark looks to be a top choice to fill in at the Devilbacker position. The Oklahoma City native showed his versatility in high school, playing on both sides of the ball and wowed scouts with his physicality at the point of attack and tackling ability, resulting in 22 sacks his junior year. Presently, Clark is currently a soft verbal to LSU, but reopened his commitment with interest from Oklahoma and Mississippi, in addition to ASU. A visit to Tempe next weekend could make or break Clark’s signature on the dotted line.
Qualen Cunningham, DE Another pass rush specialist, Cunningham is visiting Tempe this weekend despite being committed to Texas A&M. Another highly touted prospect from Chandler Hamilton, Cunningham is equally strong rushing the passer as he is in run defense. A disciplined tackler with top end speed, Cunningham had 14 recorded scholarship offers and is still a valued target despite his commitment to the Aggies in October. Wherever he signs, Cunningham has all the talent to come in and compete for a starting spot right away. Todd Graham and his staff will do everything in their power to ensure he does so in the desert this fall.
Other Targets: OT Kenyon Frison, OT Kaleb McGary, OG Larry Allen, DE Torey Hendrick, DT Trey Lealaimatafao, RB Mikale Wilbon, DE Jaylen Johnson, TE Patrick Green