Devils' small recruiting class needs strong finish

BY foxsports • February 1, 2011

By Hod Rabino

February 1, 2011

When the 2011 recruiting cycle began in February of last year, the ASU football program knew that its class of newcomers was likely to be no more than 15 players or so.

Therefore, the overall recruiting activity was expected to be quieter than years past when classes were nearly double that size. With the low quantity of targeted prospects, it was hoped that the overall quality of the recruits would carry a higher ranking.

Twenty-four hours prior to the letter of intent day, these predictions haven't quite materialized for the Sun Devils.

To date, three players have decommitted from Arizona State. Two of them, linebacker Gionni Paul (Miami) and defensive end/tight end Dillon van der Wal (Vanderbilt) were four-star prospects according to

The Sun Devils still could lose the only other four-star recruit currently committed to them, quarterback Michael Eubank, who is set to make his announcement on on Wednesday at 1pm (MST).

In recent years ASU has done a masterful job closing hard on recruits in the last few weeks leading up to signing day. This year, in the third week of January it had a handful of its committed prospects visiting other schools.

Currently in the ever-fluid world of football recruiting, ASU's recruiting class of 15 players, is ranked 55th in the nation according to, yet the average star ranking of its commits ranks sixth in the Pac-12 at 2.93. These standings clearly reflect the positive and the negative effect of having a small class.

It has been a banner year of in-state recruits in terms of their overall national ranking, especially at offensive line. Two of the local offensive guards (Christian Westerman and Cyrus Hobbi) are ranked first and sixth respectively. Two offensive tackles (Andre Yruretagoyena and Tyler Johnstone) are ranked in the top 25 in their position.

Of the big four, ASU came close to landing only Hobbi before losing him to Pac-12 South foe USC. The Sun Devils were never in the running for the other three linemen who could have shored up a dire need. Lakeland (Fla.) center Devin Goodman, ranked 17th nationally at his position, negates some of the class' shortcomings on the offensive line.

It may not be all bad news for ASU when it comes to protecting its back yard since it still has a shot of landing the state's fourth-best player in defensive tackle Todd Peat of Corona del Sol and the sixth-ranked prospect in running back Ka'Deem Carey. Peat will announce his decision on 8:30 a.m., live on Carey, who has been wavering from a commitment to Arizona, is more of a luxury, due to ASU's deep running back group, but he isn't less coveted than any other prospect ASU has on the board.

ASU has two other players in Arizona high schools' top 15 prospect list: Linebacker Israel Marshall of Mountain Pointe and defensive tackle Mo Latu of Perry High.

Linebacker was a great need in this class, and aside from Marshall, there is no other ASU pledge in this class. Paul, who had several offers from the SEC, may have been the crown jewel of this recruiting class, and his decommitment hurts the Sun Devils a great deal at this position.

Woodson Greer and Leilon Willingham are two other linebackers that considered ASU early in the process but are likely not to be part of the class.

At wide receiver ASU already landed two unheralded prospects but stands a good chance at landing four-star prospect Devin Lucien and/or three-star prospect Patrick Onwuasor

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