This is technically the "offseason", but don't tell that to Arizona State head coach Todd Graham and his staff.
While Frank Kush Field at Sun Devil Stadium remains serene and undisturbed, the Sun Devil coaching staff has been diligently working on preparing for the 2012 season and securing the future of ASU football by pounding the recruiting trail. That hard work paid off in a big time way earlier today.
Just before noon, news broke that one of ASU's top targets, four-star quarterback Tyler Bruggman of Brophy High School in Phoenix, had decided to head to Washington State. Bruggman was reportedly very torn between the Cougars and his hometown Sun Devils, but ultimately, the allure of Mike Leach's offense was too much to pass up (pun somewhat intended).
Bummer. This was a blow, no doubt, but to a staff as prepared as Graham's, the setback was brief.
About 15 minutes later, it was learned that three-star quarterback Joshua Dobbs of Alpharetta High School in Georgia had committed to ASU. Dobbs is a very talented pro-style quarterback, and his interest in coming to ASU was no secret. In fact, the 4.0 GPA student was as attracted to the school's aeronautics program as the football team.
On the surface, replacing a four-star local prospect with a three-star recruit may be viewed as a downgrade, but many have evaluated the two players on nearly equal footing. Bruggman is clearly the more polished player at this point, but Dobbs' skill and athleticism (he also is a baseball star at Alpharetta) may give him the edge in upside. In any event, time will tell, and a Pac-12 North versus South Division rivalry could be in the cards in the future.
That in itself made for a very interesting day. But the best was yet to come.
Around 2:30pm, DevilsDigest.com broke the news that Chans Cox of Blue Ridge High School in Lakeside, AZ had committed to the Sun Devils. As noted by ASUDevils.com, Cox is the highest ranked in-state recruit to come to ASU since Zach Miller in 2004. Cox is an elite athlete who plays both running back and linebacker for Blue Ridge, but projects as a linebacker for the Sun Devils.
His commitment is a major validation of the efforts that Graham and staff have made since taking over in December about reversing ASU's recent terrible run of keeping elite local prospects in state. With D.J. Foster in this year's class and Cox coming in 2013, the momentum is building heavily in ASU's favor. Both Dobbs and Cox are 4.0 students, and they along with Foster exemplify the high-character values that Graham has emphasized since taking over.
The next big local target is Marcos De Niza five-star defensive back Priest Willis, and ASU has been heavily pursuing him, as well as several other local stars in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes.
With the success Graham has had thus far in such a small amount of time, it's hard not to be very optimistic about his ability to continue this positive momentum on the recruiting trail.
So let's turn this over to you. What are your thoughts on how Graham has done thus far and will continue to do in the future? Post your thoughts in the comments below.