Over the last two decades, aided by the rise of the internet, high school football recruiting has become a business in speculation. Prospects stoke the flames by releasing their top five schools on social media. It is often difficult to view much of this speculation as anything but window dressing. But if Arizona State fans were to sift through the tea leaves, they would find signs pointing one of their most coveted prospects to Tempe.
Nicco Marchiol, a four-star, left-handed pro-style quarterback ranked 23rd at his position nationally in the 2022 class. He has prototypical size at 6-foot-2. 216 pounds. The local Hamilton High School gunslinger also has eyebrow-raising mobility once he steps outside the pocket.
His recruitment has been a maze of twists and turns. Interest in Marchiol accelerated throughout 2020 with offers from major programs like Florida, Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida State, USC and LSU.
In January 2021, Marchiol gave his verbal commitment to Florida State. But the relationship between the two parties soured when the Seminoles received a commitment from four-star IMG Academy quarterback A.J. Duffy, who was believed to be headed to Tempe at one point.
Marchiol reopened his commitment on June 2. A day later, his Twitter account was throwing some love to the Sun Devils.
Haven’t seen this edit in a while ... https://t.co/JZ3XbEGlPR— Nicco Marchiol (@MarchiolNicco) June 3, 2021
Marchiol is a special talent at the quarterback position, but there would be far more significance of a potential commitment to Arizona State than Jayden Daniel’s successor.
It has been two decades since the last time the program has started a signal caller from the Phoenix metro are. The most recent was Jeff Krohn in 2001, from Scottsdale Horizon High School.
It is not as if the cupboard of quarterback talent in the valley is bare. Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, the betting favorite for the Heisman trophy this fall, is from Phoenix Pinnacle High School. Former Oregon Duck, now Texas Tech quarterback Tyler Shough was the starting quarterback at Hamilton before Marchiol. Iowa State’s Brock Purdy and USC’s Kedon Slovis are Arizona natives.
Arizona State has prioritized California and other regions for recruiting outside of its backyard. That has upset some of the Sun Devil faithful, but as Herm Edwards, Antonio Pierce and company have tried to explain, is that they want kids who want to be at Arizona State and with time the homegrown recruits will have more interest when the foundation is built.
Marchiol might be the starting point with the philosophy. The musical chair situation that included missing out on Duffy, a California native, allowed the Arizona kid a chance to stay home. A commitment from Marchiol would be a great first step toward that goal, and probably please fans.
Michigan State is the biggest player in the Marchiol sweepstakes aside from Arizona State. Over the weekend, the Spartans hosted the prospect for an official visit. There is a potential West Virginia could enter the mix with an upcoming visit June 11.
Nevertheless, the Marchiol situation is a recruiting trail to follow.