Just days after being surpassed by the Arizona Wildcats in national recruiting rankings, the Sun Devils are nearly even with their foe from down South after receiving a verbal commitment on Sunday night.
3-star defensive tackle recruit Kammy Delp announced his commitment to Arizona State in the first quarter of Sunday's Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl game.
Delp chose Arizona State over numerous Pac-12 offers including Arizona, UCLA and Washington. The Pomona, Calif. native said he chose the Sun Devils over other schools because Todd Graham promised him the opportunity to play defense.
The defensive tackle also started at offensive guard in high school and many schools want Delp to consider playing offense. However, the Diamond Ranch High School product has his heart set on defense after a season in which he racked up 7.0 sacks and 16.0 tackles for loss.
Delp's commitment gave the Sun Devils a cushion over the Wildcats in the Scout.com national recruiting rankings as Arizona State now sits 11th in the country. According to Scout.com, the Sun Devils are three places ahead of the Wildcats whose 2014 recruiting class ranks 14th nationally.
Even with the pledge from Delp, Rivals.com still lists Arizona ahead of Arizona State in its national team rankings. Rivals.com lists both schools lower than their rankings on Scout.com, as Arizona ranks 16th and Arizona State ranks 18th.
The Sun Devils now have 25 total verbal commitments for the class of 2014 while the Wildcats have an exceedingly high total of 29 verbal pledges. Rankings are not based on the number of commitments, however, as Arizona has more scholarships to give this season. Only the Tennessee Volunteers (33) have more verbal commitments than Arizona does for a team ranked in the top 25 nationally in recruiting. Florida State and Miami also have 29 total verbal commitments.
Arizona State and Arizona each have five 4-star recruits according to Rivals.com, but Arizona has the only 5-star recruit in the Pac-12 in cornerback Jalen Tabor. Tabor chose the Wildcats over Alabama during Thursday's Under Armour All-American game.
Each school hopes to continue to make strides on the recruiting trail in the coming weeks, but that may be tougher for Arizona. Head coach Rich Rodriguez has been listed as a candidate for the Louisville head coaching position vacated by Charlie Strong.
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne released the following tweet suggesting that Rodriguez would not be leaving his current position with the Wildcats.
Coach Rodriguez is doing a great job w/our FB program. We talk regularly & feel good about him being our long term HC.— Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) January 6, 2014
Speculation about a head coach's status with a program is difficult during recruiting season, especially with such little time left between now and Signing Day on Feb. 5. In all likelihood, the Wildcats will likely offer Rodriguez an extension or pay raise to clear up the rumors of his possible departure.