After Priest Wills verbalized his UCLA commitment, ASU fans are upset. Sun Devil Nation wanted Willis to be a hometown hero like Freshman All-Americans DJ Foster and Jaxon Hood, but Willis had other plans…and that’s alright…teenagers do what they want to do, and UCLA is close to beautiful beaches and celebrity filled Hollywood.
Now word leaks out that prized ASU verbal commit and Elite11 quarterback, Josh Dobbs out of Georgia, is looking at two SEC schools: Mississippi State and Tennessee.
There is absolutely no doubt this is the hardest working staff in terms of recruiting that we have seen in Tempe. The coaches have recruited across the nation and identified a ton of talent. Certainly, ASU is involved in more 4 star recruits than recent years combined. However, what others outside Sun Devil Nation see is a program with a recruiting class half full of Junior College players and high schoolers from Arizona and California. The coaching staff has not been able to close and keep kids outside of the Southwest. This is most evident in Todd Grahams home state of Texas. Of course, this is puzzling because ASU is making an even bigger effort in recruiting Texas as evident by its hiring of Chris Thomsen as the new RB coach.
Prospects like Dimarya Mixon, Jason Reese, Tre Flowers, and Christian Daimler, all from Texas, committed to the Sun Devils and quickly flipped to other schools closer to Texas. Currently, ASU has only two Texas recruits, CB William Earley and WR Ellis Jefferson (who look like extremely solid and exciting players) to show for all of the hours spent in the state.
So, Arizona top prospects are leaving the state while verbal commits from far away from Tempe are switching to colleges closer to their homes. It only makes sense that a guy like Josh Dobbs would make one final review of all of his choices, especially those closer to his home. Instead of lashing out about an educated teenager making a full assessment of his options, it should be time for ASU fans to assess their own team and coaching staff. It is necessary to take a step back and look at the program from afar without our Maroon and Gold glasses.
While the ASU coaching staff has had 1 year to recruit the 2013 class, recruiting across the nation is beginning earlier and earlier in high school football players career. In fact, two weeks before the 2013 National Signing Day, the ASU coaching staff is having its first “Junior Day” on campus for the class of 2014 where local high school stars like Kyle Allen, Natrell Curtis, Casey Tucker, and Dionte Sykes (to name a few), get introduced to the school, the program, and the coaching staff. The coaching staff and its recruiting efforts should be viewed fully on the 2014 class as most football players develop relationships with college coaching staffs beginning their junior year.