TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State has lost another key 2014 signee, as top-ranked junior college defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey won’t enroll at ASU due to academic reasons.
Stuckey’s status had been uncertain in recent weeks as he attempted to get academically qualified, and he indicated via social media Monday he had enrolled at NCAA Division II University of West Georgia.
Stuckey is the second junior college recruit to fail to qualify this summer. Linebacker Darrius Caldwell, like Stuckey a product of Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Miss., also did not enroll because of academic reasons.
Losing Stuckey, rated as the nation’s No. 1 junior college defensive tackle by one recruiting service, is perhaps a greater blow than losing Caldwell, but combined the losses will presumably make ASU’s defensive rebuild even more challenging. Caldwell was expected to compete for the starting job at Devil-backer, and Stuckey was seen as the likely starter at the defensive tackle position vacated by two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Will Sutton.
Stuckey, 6-foot-3 and 308 pounds, had the potential to be an instant difference-maker in ASU’s pass rushing efforts, which must be reestablished after the losses of Sutton, Carl Bradford and nose tackle Davon Coleman.
Stuckey signed with Florida State out of high school over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida and others. He never made it to Florida State, however, and over two seasons at Pearl River he tallied 28 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He chose ASU over Auburn and others, including many that recruited him out of high school.
ASU will likely look now to redshirt junior Demetrius Cherry at Sutton’s old spot, with incoming freshmen Tashon Smallwood and Connor Humphreys possibly contributing as well. ASU is replacing nine defensive starters this fall and opens camp Aug. 1.