Last weekend, it was all hands on deck in Tempe as the Sun Devil football program hosted more than 15 official visits from recruits. This weekend, the Sun Devil coaches won't have nearly as many visitors, but they will be working just as hard.
Devilsdigest.com is reporting that at least seven recruits from the class of 2014 will be venturing to Arizona State over the weekend. Some of the players Graham and his staff are set to host include verbal commits like Nick Alexander, Brendan Landman and Coltin Gerhart as well as uncommitted 5-star offensive tackle Casey Tucker.
Last weekend, the Sun Devils had great success with the players they hosted as they kept all the commitments of official visitors, picked up a verbal commitment from Desert Edge High School product Ismael Murphy-Richardson, and influenced two offensive linemen who previously committed to other schools to re-open their recruitments.
This time around, the focus is squarely on how the Arizona State coaching staff can convince Tucker, a Hamilton High School recruit and local star, to stay home and play for the Sun Devils. Tucker has narrowed his college choices to Arizona State and Stanford, and he has already received his acceptance to Stanford which clears possible academic hurdles.
Tucker stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 280 pounds and Rivals.com ranks him as the third-best recruit in the state of Arizona. Watching two minutes of film on Tucker is all it takes to see why he's so highly regarded. His run-blocking is ferocious and his opponents usually end up on the ground or driven back 10 yards off the line of scrimmage.
The Chandler native lists offers from Notre Dame, Oklahoma and UCLA among other top programs and he would surely be the most coveted recruit should the Sun Devils receive a commitment on Signing Day.
At the moment, Arizona State lists just two verbal commitments from offensive line recruits and those come from Sam Jones, a Colorado native, and Quinn Bailey, a local recruit out of Higley High School. After last weekend's official visits, the Sun Devils are now in the mix for both Kenyon Frison and Ty Barrett, offensive linemen who were committed to Utah and Texas Christian respectively. Ultimately, the Sun Devils would be excited to receive a commitment from either Frison or Barrett, but keeping Tucker away from Stanford would be the greatest victory of the recruiting season.
The other important recruit to watch this weekend is Vista Murrieta High School senior Coltin Gerhart. Gerhart is the younger brother of former Stanford great Toby Gerhart, and initially committed to Arizona State as a safety.
At 6-foot-1 and 216 pounds, Gerhart has the body type of a hard-hitting defensive back but enjoyed an outstanding senior season as Vista Murrieta's starting quarterback. Gerhart has also strongly considered Nebraska as an option, but remains a solid verbal commitment to Arizona State because the coaching staff promised him an opportunity to start his career at quarterback.
Tight end Brendan Landman, wide receiver Nick Alexander and cornerback Armand Perry are the other players visiting this weekend who are expected to stick with the Sun Devils through Signing Day on Feb. 5. Casey Tucker's Hamilton teammate, Santana Sterling, is also visiting this weekend but Sterling has agreed to grayshirt his freshman season.
The Sun Devils got plenty of work done last week as the recruiting trail circled back to the friendly confines of Tempe, and they have their work cut out for them again this week. Signing Day is now less than two weeks away, and Graham wants to be sure that he caps off the recruiting season with commitments from high-priority targets.