Arizona State capped off its 2013 National Signing Day class with 27 total signees, 11 of which are transfer student-athletes.
Besides the addition of Auburn offensive line transfer Christian Westerman, the other ten transfers came from junior colleges around the area.
"We are going to recruit the best, brightest, the best character, and the best football players period. We have 16 guys graduating on the defensively side of the football next year. I think we can sign the best junior college players in the country. We have the opportunity and the ability to attract the best junior college players in California and Arizona," head coach Todd Graham said. "I'm looking for men that fit our program and have a burning desire to succeed and embrace what we are all about."
Graham isn't only coach on the team who has a part in recruiting; it is a full team effort. Defensive coordinator Paul Randolph agrees with the head coach by saying he wants to bring in the best class possible, regardless of their age.
"[Our focus] is to bring in the best guys. The best high school or JC guys and if the high school kid is better, we are going after him. For us, it's just a maturity deal, guys who fit our program, guys who have great character and work ethic," Randolph said.
Looking at this year's recruiting class, the Arizona State coaching staff focused heavily on defense. In the press conference on Wednesday, coach Graham said the defense is based on "explosiveness, power and speed" and that he considers it a good recruiting year if he "over-recruits" on defense. He wants players to attack and get in the backfield to disrupt the quarterback because it fits Randolph's system.
Out of the 16 defensive recruits who signed their National Letter of Intent, there are two four-star linebackers and the one of the best junior college defensive lineman in the country.
"We're excited about the additions. Our depth was an issue at certain positions and that's what we addressed. You know competition and depth create championships and that's what I think we created in this signing class," Randolph said.
There's the word everyone was waiting to hear: Championship.
Everyone knows the sports jargon "defense wins championships." This team is poised to win in 2013 because they addressed their team needs on both sides of the ball.
Last season, the Sun Devils were ranked No.1 in the nation in tackles for loss, second in sacks, third in pass defense and fourth in passes intercepted. Offensively, they were the fifteenth best offense in college football and were second in the Pac-12 averaging 38.4 points per game.
"The guys have been in our system for one year already and they know what our expectations are," Randolph said.
The returners will play their part in grooming the new crop of players and will help teach them Arizona State's system. This is even more important considering 16 defensive players are graduating next year, including NCAA All-American Will Sutton.
"I like what coach Tim Cassidy says, ‘check us in two or three years and lets see how we develop [the recruits] into the players they need to be,'" Randolph said.
A handful of this recruiting class will fit in to the system right away because they are talented enough to compete as a first-year Sun Devil. As the maroon and gold prepares for spring practice, keep an eye out for this recruiting class to stand out.