For ASU, there seems to be cause for excitement. The class signed by the Sun Devils is the highest rated class in several years. A top 25 class for Coach Graham is a huge success. The only PAC-12 schools that fared better were USC and Stanford.
The glaring need for ASU was on defense. The staff recruited players to fill the departures almost man for man. ASU lost 3 defensive tackles, but signed 3 (Humphreys, Smallwood, Stuckey). They lost three linebackers, but signed three (Sam, Murphy-Richardson, Calhoun). They lost 3 defensive ends, and signed 3 (Boateng, Wren, Caldwell). And finally, ASU lost 3 DB’s and signed six. (J. Scott, D. Scott, Perry, Brown, Tautalatasi, Adams).
As for quality, half of those signees are 4-star recruits. Three of them are JUCO transfers with college experience and three years left to play. Calhoun, Murphy-Richardson and Sam are critical signings as they are expected to fill the big shoes left by Carl Bradford, Anthony Jones and Chris Young. (Devilbacker and Spur Linebacker) The three interior linemen are all expected to contribute immediately, especially Dalvon Stuckey. Stuckey has college experience and is a physical presence on the field.
Offensively, quarterback was the biggest need. Not only did ASU lose backup Micahel Eubank, who is tranferring, but they hadn’t signed a quarterback in two years. The Sun Devils picked up two good ones, 4-star recruit Manny Wilkins and 3-star recruit Coltin Gerhart. Both are dual threat quarterbacks that are very athletic. Wilkins was rated as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the nation. The coaches can’t wait to get him playing in their system.
For the second year in a row, ASU landed some serious talent at wide receiver. JUCO transfer Eric Lauderdale and high school senior Tyler Whiley are both ranked in the top 10 nationally. Offensive coordinator Mike Norvell is absolutely raving about Lauderdale as a game changer. ASU is now stocked pretty full at wide receiver.
As for running back, the addition of Demario Richard and De’Chavon Hayes provide depth and talent for the future. Returning running backs Foster and Lewis are expected to get most of the snaps, but rest assured, Hayes will get some touches.
ASU only signed two offensive linemen and one tight end. TE Landman is recruited to potentially replace the departing Chris Coyle. Offensive tackles Quinn Bailey and Sam Jones replace two graduating linemen. Both those kids are quality recruits. The coaching staff is high on both of them, but they would have preferred to sign a couple more offensive linemen.
All in all, this is a solid class for ASU. There is no shortage of athleticism. Every need was adequately addressed. More to the point, the ASU coaching staff got the kids they wanted. According to coach Graham, these players meet the discipline, character and toughness criteria that have been set forth.
ASU fans should be quite satisfied that they have the quality of players required to move forward and compete in the PAC-12