National Signing Day 2015 is fast approaching and once again, ASU faithful has a lot to be pleased with for their upcoming class.
Todd Graham aspires to be a top-10 recruiting class every year. With the talent coming in for the class of 2015, have they punched through on being at that level?
“I think they are getting there,” ESPN National Recruiting Director Tom Luginbill told The Brad Cesmat Show on Thursday. “They are on their way. They are certainly a top-25 program right now.”
According to Luginbill, ASU has done a great job of blending the high school and Junior College ranks in their previous classes and are about to do so once again in 2015. He believes this shows that they recognize areas where they need immediate improvements at positions where players could come in and play right away while also bringing in talent that they can take time to develop.
One player in particular that stands out to Luginbill who fits the mold of being a great piece to develop while there is plenty of depth ahead at the position is a local product, Chandler High School state championship winning Quarterback Bryce Perkins.
“A primary example of that would be Bryce Perkins out of Chandler High School who is an ideal fit for their offense,” Luginbill mentioned. “Maybe not ready to play right away but they can bring him along, redshirt him, develop him. And that is where I think Todd and his staff have done a really nice job.”
Quite possibly the face of this 2015 class is another quarterback. Brady White out of Hart High School in Southern California. His commitment created plenty of buzz both locally and nationally.
“He reminds me a lot of Kyle Allen who was out of the valley last year and is now at Texas A&M,” Luginbill stated. “You are not going to get some of the same athletic traits in terms of the dynamic of the run/pass options out of the quarterback with Brady White. He’s going to be a precision passer. The guy is going to get the ball out of his hands. He is a really good anticipator of routes.”
“It’s hard to get in his face,” he added. “Because once he is comfortable with a scheme, the ball comes out of his hand so quickly. So, I think you are going to get more of the passing skill set than the running threat so it is going to be interesting to see how he comes along.”
The significant of White is big for the Sun Devils not just because of who he could be potentially on the field, but also off the field as well.
“ASU has always been at it’s best when they have had a a significant presence in the state of California,” Luginbill explained. “And I think that is critical as well.”
He mentioned the blending of JUCO and HS talent in each of Graham’s recruiting classes being the key to what has made the Sun Devils a top-25 team recruiting-wise over the last couple of years. But one of the main reasons for that has been the case is because of the great talent they have had pan out coming from the JUCO level like Chris Young two years ago being a catalyst for Graham’s style of defense at the linebacker position or last year with wide receiver Jaelen Strong playing his way into being first round consideration for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Luginbill likes what he see’s once again from the JUCO players ASU is bringing in for 2015. And more than the talent level they are getting, he thinks the number of JUCO players in the class is spot on.
“With this current class, you’ve got Raymond Epps as a tight end who you really like as a player and our number one ranked player in the junior college class at the linebacker position is Davon Durant,” mentioned Luginbill. “I think their number of JUCO players is right about where it needs to be because what you have to be careful with from the junior college ranks is really harming your depth if s guy doesn’t pan out. It could be a high risk, high reward type of proposition….You don’t want to have five to seven or eight JUCO guys every year because I think you are hurting your four and five year depth. So I think the number right now for the Sun Devils is just about right.”
Mike Norvell has been a big part of the recruiting success for the Sun Devils since he joined the program with Graham as the offensive coordinator. He has had head coaching opportunities come his way over the last two years but has stayed put with the Devils which has made a big impact from a recruiting standpoint as well as the play on the field.
“Right now in terms of kids and how they perceive schools, so much is offensive oriented,” explained Luginbill. “The scheme, the excitement, creating that cool factor. With Mike Norvell and how they are operating offensively, I think that pays huge dividends once they get into the living room.”
ASU right now has the 24th ranked recruiting class in the nation according to ESPN.com with Signing Day less than two weeks away.