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ASU Football: Recapping first day of early signing period

Everything you need to know about what the Sun Devils accomplished Wednesday

NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona State Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils landed 11 signees on the first day of the new early signing period Wednesday morning, adding three running backs, six defensive backs, one defensive end and one offensive lineman.

Here’s everyone that joined Arizona State’s 2018 recruiting class Wednesday, in order of Sun Devil Athletics’ announcements:

Early signing period signees

Order Name Position Location Rating Positional Ranking
Order Name Position Location Rating Positional Ranking
1 Stanley Lambert OLB San Antonio, TX ★★★ No. 65 (ATH)
2 Dominique Harrison CB Brenham, TX ★★★ No. 5 (JUCO)
3 Michael Matus DE Katy, TX ★★★ No. 33
4 A.J. Carter RB Many, LA ★★★ No. 33
5 Brock Sturges RB Allen, TX ★★★ No 46
6 Christian LaValle LB Mission Viejo, CA ★★★ No. 42
7 Ralph Frias OT Safford, AZ ★★★ No. 77
8 Ely Doyle S Valencia, CA ★★★ No. 74
9 Demetrious Flowers RB Bellflower, CA ★★★ No. 56
10 Reggie Hughes OLB Calabasas, CA ★★★★ No. 33
11 Terin Adams CB San Francisco, CA ★★★ No. 18 (JUCO)

Considering the departures of head coach Todd Graham, offensive coordinator Billy Napier and defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, locking in 11 signees on the first day of the early signing period is extremely impressive on the part of Arizona State and its athletic administration.

All three coordinators and coaches are crucial in constructing and maintaining the recruiting infrastructure, so retaining nearly all of the early commitments in their absence represents a step in the right direction for head coach Herm Edwards and his staff.

A few notes:

  • The Sun Devils hit the two states Athletics Director Ray Anderson mentioned were crucial in being able to recruit in Texas and California, signing four and five prospects from the two states, respectively.
  • Another impressive aspect of the class were ASU’s two junior-college cornerbacks in Terin Adams and Dominique Harrison. Both rank within the top 13 JUCO prospects at the position, per, and possess the size, speed and athleticism the Devils are currently sporting on the edges of their defense. ASU doesn’t posses much depth behind Kobe Williams, Chase Lucas, Darien Cornay and Joey Bryant, so a couple juniors with experience will be a welcome sight for whomever becomes the next defensive coordinator.
  • Arizona State pulled in three running backs to bolster its depth behind next year’s projected starter in Eno Benjamin. All of Demetrious Flowers, Brock Sturges and A.J. Carter possess similar physical profiles and will have a legitimate shot for the second or third spot on the depth chart behind Benjamin. Trelon Smith, Nick Ralston and Brandon Lamarche all return to the position for the 2018-19 season.
  • ASU has 19 offensive linemen listed on its roster but just one (Kyle Breed) listed taller than 6 foot 7, 305 pound Safford offensive lineman Ralph Frias, who signed with the Sun Devils Wednesday. Four of five starting linemen will return for Arizona State next season.
  • The fact that ASU landed just two of the top-16 players in its home state (three are yet to commit) should be considered an abject failure. It was likely never in the running for Hamilton’s Tyler Shough or Salpointe Catholic’s Matteo Mele, but there is no excuse for losing Hamilton’s Jawhar Jordan to Syracuse, Gilbert’s Jack Plummer to Purdue and Saguaro’s Josiah Bradley to Nevada. These are the prospects the Sun Devils need to have locked down or at least have a strong hold on, then they can add additional recruits from outside states. This must improve under Edwards.
  • Fringe top-40 linebackers Christian LaValle and Reggie Hughes along with defensive back Elyjah Doyle and defensive end Michael Matus round out the group that signed Wednesday for the Sun Devils. There aren’t as many highly-ranked, exciting prospects as there have been in years past, but that is expected with so much coaching turnover in the program. I would expect ASU to stabilize and start landing more four-star types next season, when Edwards gets a full-run on the recruiting trail and isn’t fulfilling ESPN requirements during one of the most important weeks of the year.