One of the toughest parts of recruiting is filling the holes on a team with players well-suited to a coach's scheme, and that's exactly what Arizona State did in landing Ismael Murphy-Richardson on National Signing Day.
Murphy-Richardson is considered a top-10 recruit in the state of Arizona by Rivals.com and the Goodyear native is the second highest-rated player from Arizona that the Sun Devils expected to sign.
At 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, Murphy-Richardson still has plenty of time to add weight and develop his body for the rigors of playing defense at the college level.
At Desert Edge High School, Murphy-Richardson played on both sides of the football as an outside linebacker and as a wide receiver. At Arizona State, the Sun Devils hope that Murphy-Richardson can fill the void left by Devilbacker Carl Bradford who elected to forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
Securing a commitment from Murphy-Richardson became critical for the Sun Devils after Bradford's decision and after his official visit over the weekend of Jan. 17, Murphy-Richardson decided to verbally commit.
Rivals and Scout both consider Murphy-Richardson a 3-star recruit, but the outside linebacker's list of scholarship offers presents a clearer picture of his talent level. Murphy-Richardson had offers from SEC schools like Texas A&M, Missouri and Tennessee, a Big 12 powerhouse in Oklahoma, and Arizona State's Pac-12 South foes in USC and UCLA.
Ultimately, the Sun Devils won the race for Richardson's services and they now hope that he's a quick-study who can make an immediate impact in the program.