While verbal commits are never certain, there was one player that the Arizona State coaching staff knew it could count on to land with the Sun Devils on Signing Day: Manny Wilkins.
The Novato, Calif. native and San Marin High School standout verbally committed to Arizona State last May and has been one of the most visible players throughout the 2014 recruiting cycle.
Wilkins is a 3-star quarterback according to Rivals.com and a 4-star quarterback according to Scout and both recruiting services consider the pro-style quarterback one of the top 20 players at his position nationally.
Wilkins will enter Arizona State as a superstar for the work he did on the recruiting trail over the past eight months. An active Tweeter, Wilkins let fellow recruits know that he wanted to team up with them in Tempe and took to social media to help inspire players to join him.
At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Wilkins stands an inch taller than current Sun Devil quarterback Taylor Kelly and he also possesses the necessary speed to operate Mike Norvell's up-tempo offense. Wilkins' highlight film displays a knack for making plays when flushed out of the pocket and an ability to create opportunities for himself in the open field.
At the high school level, Wilkins also served as a punter at San Marin and was regarded as one of the top punters in Northern California. It's not often you see college quarterbacks utilizing their feet in the special teams game, but Kelly has set that precedent at Arizona State and it's an option that the coaching staff will likely explore.
In all likelihood, Wilkins will take a redshirt year to study and learn the offense and then compete for a starting job in 2015. Wilkins has polished his skills by participating in Elite 11 camps and through private sessions with quarterback guru Roger Theder.
The Sun Devils needed to land a strong quarterback recruit after Joshua Dobbs de-committed from Arizona State on Signing Day in 2013 and instead enrolled at Tennessee. Now, the Sun Devils appear fortified at the quarterback position and will be excited to see what skills Wilkins can bring to fall camp.