When Todd Graham was introduced as head coach of the Arizona St. Sun Devils, he pointed to improvement in the school's in-state recruiting as a way to build up a strong Sun Devil football program. Among other things, he promised to reach out to Arizona athletes and develop a lasting in-state pipeline. That all sounded great in speech, but ASU fans know that talk is cheap when it comes to in-state recruiting and actual commitments are the only things that matter.
It's still very early in his tenure, but it appears that Graham may actually be changing the recruiting culture within the state. A recent Sports Illustrated article provides some insightful quotes from current Arizona high school athletes:
"I feel like they're reaching out more than in past years," said Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton cornerback Cole Luke, a 2013 Rivals250 prospect with offers from both programs (Arizona State and Arizona). "They're putting in more effort. They come out to your school. They talk to you, sit you down and have a conversation about the whole process.''
The state's No. 1 prospect for 2013, Lakeside (Ariz.) Blue Ridge linebacker Chans Cox, has also noticed a difference -- especially at Arizona State.
"They've made a big change already," Cox said. "They've gotten a lot of in-state guys already wanting to commit to ASU. I'm really looking forward to the future to see what they bring.''
Check out some analysis and weigh in with your own thoughts after the jump.
Those are some huge words for ASU and the potential future of the football program. In just over two months, Graham has injected energy into the Arizona football circle. He saw the first true reward for his recruiting effort when D.J. Foster committed to the Sun Devils last month, and he may be on his way to snagging more recruits next year.
In order to maintain the interest of Arizona's best, Graham will need to post wins next season and back his up his philosophy of Speaking Victory. And if that happens, there's no reason to think that more AZ recruits won't start turning and looking in the direction of ASU when they make their own college selections.
At this point, all we can really do is speculate about Graham's future success a a recruiter. How do you feel about the new ASU staff and what it may be able to accomplish in the coming years? Vote on the poll below and add your insight to the conversation by writing in the Comments section.