As the Super Bowl came to a close on Sunday night, many football fans lamented the end of the season. But for diehard fans, football is a year-round operation and this week offers the most exciting day of the offseason for college football fans: Signing Day.
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, high school and junior college players from around the country will sign letters of intent and make their final decisions on which colleges they will attend.
Many of the top players will have press conferences with television cameras, while others will have small ceremonies celebrating the next phase of their career. Either way, these recruits will "sign on the dotted line" and fax their paperwork into their schools of choice.
At Arizona State, the Sun Devil coaching staff will be eagerly waiting by the fax machines as Wednesday should serve as a reward for the hard work these coaches have dedicated to recruiting for the class of 2014.
The Sun Devils have the chance to sign as many as 26 scholarship players, and based on the list of current verbal commits, Arizona State expects to land an impressive haul.
On Monday, we'll take a look at the offensive commits that Arizona State expects to sign and on Tuesday, we'll bring you an overview of the defensive commits who should turn into Sun Devils in the near future. So without further ado, here we go.
Manny Wilkins, Quarterback
The Sun Devils are elated by what Wilkins has done for the program as the 6-foot-3, 185-pound quarterback has helped inspire other top talent to consider signing with Arizona State. Wilkins is considered a 3-star quarterback by Rivals and a 4-star recruit by Scout and both services named Wilkins one of the top quarterbacks available on the West Coast during this recruiting cycle.
Coltin Gerhart, Quarterback
Early on in the recruiting process, it looked like Gerhart would play safety in college. Now, the Vista Murrieta High School senior has had a change of heart and wants to give quarterback a shot. Though Gerhart could still end up on defense, Arizona State has promised him a shot on offense and the younger brother of former Stanford great Toby Gerhart should be an asset either way.
De'Chavon Hayes, Running Back
The first junior college recruit to appear on our list, De'Chavon Hayes is a 3-star running back out of Lackawanna Community College in Scranton, Penn. Hayes's highlight film shows his outstanding speed and at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, the JUCO recruit could have an instant impact on Mike Norvell's offense next season.
Demario Richard, Running Back
Richard is one of the players that Wilkins worked closely with throughout the recruiting process as the pair played together in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl. Richard is a 3-star recruit according to Rivals, but Scout likes the Palmdale, Calif. native as a 4-star recruit. Richard committed to Arizona State back in December, but he has a number of other enticing offers including Washington, Utah and Boise State.
Kalen Ballage, Running Back
Of all the verbal commits that should sign with Arizona State, Ballage is the Sun Devils' biggest concern. Ballage has always been considered a "soft verbal" commit and neither Rivals nor Scout is confident enough at this point in the process to turn that into a "solid verbal." Ballage is an athletic specimen and could play a variety of positions in college, but it's still too early to say where he will be playing his college ball.
Eric Lauderdale, Wide Receiver
Lauderdale's commitment was one of the more surprising commits of this recruiting cycle considering many recruiting experts opined that the 4-star junior college player would choose Florida. Late in his recruiting process, Lauderdale cancelled an official visit to Oregon and he also considered Nebraska as part of his final four. Lauderdale's film shows breakaway speed and he could continue the recent trend of impact JUCO players under Todd Graham.
Tyler Whiley, Wide Receiver
Whiley was an important "get" for the Sun Devils early on in the recruiting process because Arizona State has struggled with signing the top recruits in the state of Arizona of late. Whiley is a 4-star wide receiver and played cornerback in high school as well. Though he will likely start his career at receiver, some recruiting services consider Whiley an "athlete" and haven't labeled him with a position just yet.
Jalen Harvey, Wide Receiver
Harvey was another big verbal commitment for the Sun Devils because of the schools that were interested in the El Cerrito, Calif. native. Harvey's Rivals profile lists scholarship offers from California, Washington and UCLA. Harvey is considered a 4-star recruit by Rivals and a 3-star recruit by Scout, and he should join what is becoming an increasingly deep receiving corps under Todd Graham.
Nick Alexander, Wide Receiver
Alexander hails from Lancaster High School in Texas and represents one of Todd Graham's top priorities which is bringing top Texas talent out to Arizona State. Alexander verbally committed to the Sun Devils back in July and is a bit of a unique recruit because he played on an offense that primarily ran the ball in high school. Alexander saw more attention come his way by attending recruiting camps, so it will be interesting to see how he transitions to Mike Norvell's offense.
Brendan Landman, Tight End
Landman is the only tight end the Sun Devils plan on signing as part of their 2014 recruiting class, and he comes to Arizona State as a 2-star recruit. Landman has a terrific 6-foot-6 frame and will add weight in college to get ready for the rigors of the 3-back position that Arizona State asks its tight ends to play. Landman hails from Monte Vista High School in Danville, Calif. which is where Stanford found current-Eagles tight end Zach Ertz a while back.
Sam Jones, Offensive Tackle
Like Kalen Ballage, Jones calls Colorado home but unlike Ballage, Jones is squarely in the Sun Devils' corner heading into Signing Day. Jones is considered a 3-star offensive tackle by both Rivals and Scout and he stands 6-foot-5 which is a good size for a tackle at the college level. Jones pulled in scholarship offers from a few different Pac-12 schools and even made an official visit to Oregon, but settled on Arizona State back in October and hasn't looked back.
Quinn Bailey, Offensive Tackle
Aside from Jones, Bailey is the only other offensive lineman the Sun Devils are expecting to sign on Wednesday. Bailey should be a nice pickup for the Sun Devils' because he's a local recruit (Higley High in Gilbert) and is one of the top 15 players in the state. Bailey's film shows that he's fairly athletic for an offensive tackle and that gives the Sun Devils options when it comes to developing blocking schemes.
Stay tuned as House of Sparky will give a final overview of the defensive commits ASU expects to sign on Tuesday.