In 2013, the Stanford Cardinal had Arizona State's number as the Cardinal picked up two easy victories over the Sun Devils on the football field. In 2014, the Cardinal are already off to a better start, as coach David Shaw has landed a verbal commitment from top Arizona State offensive tackle target Casey Tucker.
Tucker, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound beast of an offensive tackle, announced on Twitter Thursday night that he has verbally committed to join Stanford's 2014 recruiting class.
Tucker's decision stings the Sun Devils because Arizona State was hoping to land the Hamilton High School product and Chandler native to anchor its offensive line into the future. Todd Graham has made recruiting locally a priority and getting Tucker to stay home would have represented a major stride.
Instead, Tucker will take his talents up to Palo Alto and join fellow Arizona native Andrus Peat on the offensive line. Peat started throughout the season for Stanford and was also a 5-star recruit coming out of high school. Peat attended Corona Del Sol in Tempe and chose to attend Stanford over offers from Arizona State, Notre Dame, Texas, UCLA, and USC.
Tucker is considered the third-best recruit for the class of 2014 in the state of Arizona and was expected to come to Tempe over the weekend to make his official visit to Arizona State. Even though he has verbally committed to Stanford, Tucker is still able to make an official visit but it is unclear whether he will do so.
Without Tucker in its recruiting class, the top ranked Arizona native in Arizona State's recruiting class is wide receiver Tyler Whiley, a 4-star product of Chaparral High School and the No. 7 recruit in the state according to Rivals.
Tucker's decision does free up the Sun Devils to pursue other offensive linemen as Todd Graham has just two recruits currently committed for the class of 2014 on the line. Sam Jones, a Colorado native, and Quinn Bailey, the No. 15 recruit in the state of Arizona, are both verbal commits to the Sun Devils.
Last weekend, Arizona State helped influence the decisions of 4-star recruits Ty Barrett and Kenyon Frison to de-commit from Texas Christian and Utah respectively. Arizona State now faces the pressure of signing a third offensive lineman on Signing Day to add depth at a position of need.
Regardless of how Arizona State changes course, the Sun Devils are still struggling to compete with the Stanford Cardinal and that's something Todd Graham wants to work on immediately.