In all the craziness of luring high schoolers into Arizona State, finding the right athletes and recruiting the entire year, National Signing Day finally rolled around and the Sun Devils landed five quality defensive backs at a highly-needed position.
Three of them are four stars according to Scout, and each of them could make an impact for Sun Devil football immediately.
“I think that all five of those guys will compete,” head coach Todd Graham said.
“You’ve got basically 15 players in the secondary. We signed five which is a third (of that), so I think the talent level that those guys are at, they’ll be in the two-deep competing to play.”
Graham, whose pass defense allowed an average of 357.4 yards per game last season (worst in the nation), said focused his defensive recruiting on improving the secondary.
“Defensive backs were the No. 1 priority in our entire class,” Graham said.
And in Graham’s 20-minute presentation of his newly-signed Sun Devils, he kicked it off by introducing his five very talented defensive backs.
Here’s what he had to say:
Evan Fields (4-star), 6-foot-1, 187 pounds /Safety /Oklahoma City, Okla.
“Evan is a guy that can play multiple positions in our defensive backfield,” Graham said. “He was probably one of the most dynamic players that we watched and he’s going to have a tremendous impact.”
Fields played just seven games in his senior season and still recorded 81 tackles with two interceptions, according to MaxPreps.
“He’s a guy that can cover. A guy that has a great physicality. He can play up around the line of scrimmage as well as play bump and run coverage man,” Graham said. “He’s a guy that I wanted to start off with, and with our biggest need being defensive backs, this guy’s the headliner for this group.”
Not only is he a defensive havoc on the field, but he’s talented in the classroom as he maintained a 3.9 GPA.
“Evan Fields is the guy I wanted to start off with and a guy who’s going to apply to Barrett the Honor’s College,” added Graham, “He’s going to get it done on the field and in the classroom.”
Alex Perry (4-star) 5-foot-10, 170 pounds / Cornerback / Las Vegas, Nev.
“He’s a guy who does nothing but win championships. That’s something we really pride ourselves into. We like guys who have been a part of championship football teams.”
Perry, the brother of current Sun Devil redshirt senior defensive back Armand Perry didn’t just win one, but four state championships at Bishop Gorman High School.
“(Perry) is a guy that possess great physicality up around the ball, great confidence, great speed and at an area of need for us at the cornerback position.”
Kaelib “K.J.” Jarrell (4-star) 6-foot-2, 185 pounds / Safety / Scottsdale, Ariz.
“He has great versatility. He can cover. He’s got great physicality and great speed and you see he’s got great size as well.”
Just like Alex Perry, Jarrell won four consecutive state championships just north of Tempe at Saguaro High School.
“We were very excited when he joined our team. We think he’s a guy that can be impactful for us as well and very versatile and be able to play multiple positions.”
Jarrell ranked as the No. 1 safety in the state of Arizona by ESPN and totaled 56 tackles with 4.5 of them for loss and four interceptions in his senior season. On offense, Jarrell caught 10 balls for 215 yards scoring four touchdowns.
Ty Thomas (3-star) 5-foot-11, 195 pounds / Safety / Lubbock, Texas
“Ty’s a guy that I just fell in love with watching his film. He plays the game the way it should be played.”
Thomas was rated the sixth best safety in Texas by Scout. Also, his uncle, Zach Thomas was a seven-time pro bowler as a linebacker with the Miami Dolphins in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
“He play’s just like his uncle. He plays with tremendous passion,” said Graham. “He’s another Barrett Honor’s College student.”
Graham found Thomas so gifted, he compared him to another impactful defensive enforcer.
“He fits what we’re about. The values of our program. I felt great about his versatility. He reminds me a lot of (former ASU safety) Jordan Simone,” Graham said. “That type of player, a great special teams player.”
Langston Frederick (2-star) 5-foot-11, 174 pounds / cornerback / League City, TX
“Langston’s probably one of the most underrated guys in our class,” Graham said. “He came up when coach Bennet was very instrumental in this young man here coming here.”
Though Frederick is a 2-star according to Scout, he was rated a 4-star by ESPN and will be treated as no joke by Graham and the rest of his staff.
“He’s a great tackler. Can play multiple positions, but he’ll play corner for us... He’s very physical in how he plays the game.”