Arizona State is losing nine starters on defense in 2014, but the Sun Devils may have found a future replacement for All-American Will Sutton in defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood.
Smallwood faxed in his letter of intent to Arizona State on Wednesday and joins the Sun Devils' 2014 recruiting class as a highly touted defensive prospect.
The Fresno, Calif. native stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 285 pounds, and chose Arizona State over a long list of offers. Smallwood's Rivals profile lists offers from Alabama, Miami, Oklahoma, USC and UCLA so receiving a letter of intent from the high school senior was a top priority during this recruiting cycle.
Smallwood visited Arizona State over the weekend of Jan. 17 which turned out to be one of the busiest weekends for official visits in Tempe. A large number of Arizona State's verbal commits came through on the weekend of the 17th and that allowed the Sun Devils to gain momentum with recruits like Smallwood.
Rivals.com lists Smallwood as a 3-star recruit but Scout.com lists the interior lineman as a 4-star recruit and calls him a top 20 defensive tackle for the class of 2014.
One of Arizona State's greatest needs during the 2014 recruiting cycle was replenishing its defensive line and Smallwood's highlight film shows all the makings of a player who could make an impact early on in his career. Smallwood has a powerful first step of the football and drives his feet upon contact which is essential for a defensive tackle at the college level.
Arizona State thinks it might have the next Will Sutton, but only time will tell if Smallwood can follow in the footsteps of a Sun Devil legend.
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