Outside of the yearly Duel in the Desert game against Arizona and the possible bowl appearances, National Letter of Intent Day is one of the biggest days for ASU football and Sun Devil nation.
With fresh new faces committing to each university, it is a look at the future and the new faces of each school. And on February 1, new ASU football Head Coach Todd Graham brought in his first recruiting class.
Only 50 days into his tenure, most fans in Sun Devil nation have applauded Graham for his work of salvaging what seemed to be a dismal recruiting class. By bringing in some of the best, local talent in Arizona and some nationally-recognized junior college players, Graham looks to make a splash in the PAC-12 this season with his “high-octane” spread offense.
Let’s take a look at some players in this ASU’s new recruiting class who have the ability to be a factor on the field in the 2012 ASU football season:
1. DJ Foster
|With the highest-ranked recruit coming to ASU since 2004, DJ Foster of Scottsdale Saguaro High School has the ability to make an immediate impact on the field. With his speed, play-making ability and ability to play from the back field or lined up as a receiver, Foster can become a dangerous weapon for the Devils. In his senior season, he scored 64 touchdowns, including an Arizona state record 10 touchdowns in one game. While he still needs to develop some size to become an every-down back, look to see Graham move Foster around the offense in 2012.|
2. Marion Grice
|A relatively unknown recruit to most Sun Devil fans, Grice was the highest ranked junior college running back in the nation. While most did not believe the Sun Devils had a chance at landing Grice, he was a pleasant signing-day surprise for the maroon and gold. At 6-0, 215 lbs., Grice is a hard-nosed tailback that adds depth to an already stacked back-field for the Devils. With Cameron Marshall returning for his senior season, Deantre Lewis back from injury, and DJ Foster — these four running backs will give OC Norvell plenty of options in 2012.|
3. Chris Young
|ASU had plenty of needs to be filled with this recruiting class after graduating a handful of seniors from last years starting line-ups. Chris Young, another junior college recruit that Sun Devil fans can look to make an immediate impact in 2012. With the new 3-3-5/3-4 offense that Graham will be running, Young is the perfect Hybrid form to fit this defense. It also doesn’t hurt that he was named the Western States Football League and Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.|
4. Steffon Martin
|A teammate of Young at Arizona Western, Martin looks to join Young and fill the shoes at middle linebacker that were left with the departure of Vontaze Burfict. At 6-2, 240 lbs., Martin runs a 4.5 forty. This kind of speed can make Martin a terror from sideline to sideline and hopefully create some stability at the middle line-backer position that ASU never had with Burfict.|
5. Evan Goodman
|After Foster, Goodman may be one of the most prized recruits in this year’s class. A four-star ranked offensive tackle out of Florida, Goodman is a nationally ranked recruit. With offers from Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Notre Dame and more, it’s obvious that the boy has talent. And his 6-4, 290 lbs. frame doesn’t hurt much either. With ASU graduating three of the starting offensive linemen from last season, Goodman may have to step up as a freshman. With the recruit of Goodman, ASU has hopefully opened a door into the recruiting realm of Florida, a territory that is usually owned by SEC teams.|
6. Mike Pennel
|Another big time junior college recruit, Pennel comes from just down the road at Scottsdale Community College. A monstrous defensive tackle, at 6-5, 340 lbs., Pennel may be the beastly nose-tackle that is needed to cause havoc in Graham’s three-man defensive line. Without many options at the nose tackle position, look to see Pennel on the field at the beginning of the season.|
7. Alonzo Agwuenu
|The pass game at ASU has plenty of uncertainties heading into the 2012 season. Gerrell Robinson, Mike Willie and Aaron Pflugrad, the top three receivers for ASU last year have all graduated — and star-in-the-making QB Brock Osweiler — has opted for the NFL draft. Agwuenu, another junior college recruit, has a big 6-4, 210-pound frame that will make him an easy target for the new quarterback in the fall.|