Westerman, Cox among ASU's early signees
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State coach Todd Graham on Thursday officially announced the additions of former Hamilton offensive lineman Christian Westerman, Blue Ridge linebacker Chans Cox and former Chandler defensive end Kisima Jagne for spring practice.
All three players have signed some form of early commitment agreement, making them eligible to join the team for spring practice.
Westerman's transfer from Auburn became official earlier this week when the school received his paperwork. The former five-star recruit gives the Sun Devils a huge offensive line building block who could play next season rather than redshirt if an NCAA investigation of Auburn lead to sanctions.
Westerman's father said Wednesday his son's decision to transfer was primarily based on wanting to come home to continue his football career.
"When it comes to recruiting, the one thing that you cannot replace is family and what it means," Graham said. "What our program stands for now -- character and class -- you can stay right here at home and do everything you want to do."
Cox, a four-star recruit, is currently the top high school recruit in Graham's 2013 recruiting class. At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Cox is expected to line up as a "Devilbacker." Graham said Thursday he expects Cox to contribute next season.
"Chans had an opportunity to go anywhere in the country and he came here," Graham said. "I think that has a lot to do with what our program is about. He's big, fast, strong and versatile, and he's going to be a guy that will be impactful to our program in a hurry."
Jagne, a three-star prospect in the 2012 class, initially signed with Colorado last February. He never made it to the school, though, and will enroll at ASU for the spring semester. According to ASU, he will be eligible to play right away and will have five seasons to play four.
At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, Jagne adds significant size to the Sun Devils defensive line.
"Kisima is a guy that fits our hybrid system because, among other things, his great ability to rush the passer," Graham said. "It's all about getting the right fit and we think he has great promise. He's played in a system that had him blitzing from inside and outside, and he's big enough to play defensive end. Getting him in the spring is important and we think he can really develop into something special."
Though Jagne and Westerman are technically late arrivals, all three additions help ASU bolster its reputation as a local recruiting power. Graham has made recruiting the Valley a point of emphasis from early in his tenure.
"We want the best, the brightest, the toughest, the guys with the best character, the best football players, to be able to stay right here at home at ASU," Graham said. "That's the key to winning championships for us."