The Arizona State football program played host to 18 important visitors over the weekend and emerged with a few positive takeaways and one negative result.
The 18 visitors who came to Tempe this weekend were all class of 2014 recruits checking out Arizona State on official visits. 12 of the recruits began the weekend as verbal commitments to the Sun Devils, and fortunately for Todd Graham and his staff, the Sun Devils were able to sway a 13th guest into pledging his commitment.
On Sunday night, Arizona State received word that outside linebacker recruit Ismael Murphy-Richardson has verbally committed to the Sun Devils. Murphy-Richardson is a 3-star recruit, but represents one of the most important "gets" for Arizona State if it can hold his commitment through Signing Day.
Murphy-Richardson attends Desert Edge High School in Goodyear, Ariz. and projects to fill a position of need for the Sun Devils. The 6-foot-5, 210 pounder should play "Devil" backer for Arizona State which is a spot vacated by Carl Bradford.
The local linebacker has a lot of muscle to add to his frame before he's able to fit in on the Sun Devil defense, but he gives Arizona State an athletic option at the position well into the future. Murphy-Richardson also has offers from Texas A&M, Oklahoma, UCLA and USC, so despite his status as a 3-star recruit, he's a highly sought after prospect.
While Murphy-Richardson joined the Sun Devils' talented 2014 class, a fellow 3-star recruit opted to open up his recruitment. Pomona, Calif. native Kammy Delp announced that he would consider Arizona State, UCLA, and Washington in the final weeks leading up to Signing Day.
Delp was not part of the festivities this weekend as an official visitor as he took his visit to Arizona State back in November when Arizona State defeated rival Arizona in the Territorial Cup.
The Sun Devils are recruiting Delp as a defensive lineman, but he has the potential to play offensive and defensive line at the collegiate level. Delp has not made official visits to UCLA or Washington yet, so we can expect him to do so in the next two weekends prior to Signing Day.
One recruit who visited Arizona State over the weekend has narrowed down his college options after coming to Tempe.
Saddleback Community College wide receiver Eric Lauderdale tweeted that he will no longer visit the University of Oregon as he had planned to do next Saturday.
Not visiting Oregon no more..— Eric Lauderdale (@e_lauderdale) January 19, 2014
Lauderdale is a 4-star recruit and one of the highest rated uncommitted JUCO prospects left, and the Sun Devils would be elated to pair him with fellow JUCO transfer Jaelen Strong next season.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Lauderdale had indicated interest in Oregon, Nebraska, Florida, and Arizona State, but it now appears that he will choose between the Gators and the Sun Devils. Lauderdale also tweeted that he will make his announcement on Saturday, but 247 Sports considers the Gators as the front-runner for his commitment.
One part of the official visits from this past weekend that recruits seemed to enjoy was the Arizona State coaching staff allowing a few verbal commitments to make a preliminary selection on what numbers they will wear upon arriving in Tempe.
3-star running back recruit Demario Richard tweeted a picture of him standing in front of a No. 4 jersey. Seniors Alonzo Agwuenu and Alden Darby wore No. 4 last season, which frees up an offensive and defensive player to wear the popular single digit number next season.
4-star quarterback recruit Manny Wilkins also joined in the fun and tweeted a picture of him wearing a black No. 5 jersey.
Zane Gonzalez and Chris Young both wore No. 5 for the Sun Devils last year, but no offensive player wore the number. The Sun Devils could run into potential issues down the line if Wilkins ever becomes a holder on PAT and field goals for Gonzalez, but the coaching staff will cross that bridge at a later date.
Of course, nothing is official until Signing Day on Feb. 5 and to prove that point, here's a picture of former Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey wearing a Sun Devil jersey on a visit to Arizona State.
In honor of rivalry week, here's a picture of UofA star Ka'deem Carey in an ASU jersey during a recruiting visit. pic.twitter.com/xpy2KMaE5q— Sun Devil Tweets (@SunDevilTweets) November 28, 2013