It’s never ideal when you have to shuffle your coaching staff right before signing day, but that’s exactly the situation Arizona State head coach Todd Graham found himself in.
Offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey took the same job at Auburn and ASU finalized the hiring of his replacement, Billy Napier, the day before the biggest day of the college football offseason.
Despite those challenges, Graham and ASU welcomed 18 members of their 2017 football recruiting class to Tempe Wednesday.
The highest-profile commit is quarterback Blake Barnett, the Alabama transfer. Originally a highly-touted prospect in the Class of 2015, Barnett redshirted as a true freshman and played in three games for the Crimson Tide in 2016 before announcing his intention to transfer in late September. He committed to Arizona State in early December and Tuesday was granted a Legislative Release Waiver, making him eligible for the Sun Devils’ season opener against New Mexico State Aug. 31.
Other highlights of the class:
• Running back Eno Benjamin from Wylie, Texas was named the AP Class 5A Offensive Player of the Year in his home state during a senior season in which he ran for 2,604 yards and 32 touchdowns. He announced his intention to play at ASU while playing in the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
• The Sun Devils inked three players from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, a program that has won four straight Arizona state championships. Safety K.J. Jarrell, linebacker Kyle Soelle and offensive lineman Corey Stephens all pledged to play for Coach Graham Wednesday. Jarrell was a 4-star prospect and rated the 28th-best safety prospect in the class by Scout.com.
• Defensive lineman Dougladson Subtyl, who was originally part of ASU’s class of 2016 but didn’t qualify academically, is back after a season where he straightened things out at Victor Valley College in California. Subtyl, who is expected to boost ASU’s pass rush in 2017, had 27 sacks in two junior college seasons.
• In all, the Sun Devils nabbed seven 4-star recruits in this year’s class.
• According to Scout’s rankings, ASU signed three of the state’s top five prospects in this year’s class — Ryan Kelley, Tyler Johnson and Jarrell.
|Blake Barnett||QB||Corona, CA||Santiago HS (Alabama)||****|
|Eno Benjamin||RB||Wylie, TX||Wylie East HS||****|
|D.J. Davidson||DL||Mesa, AZ||Desert Ridge HS||***|
|Evan Fields||DB||Oklahoma City, OK||Midwest City HS||****|
|Shannon Forman||DL||Baton Rouge, LA||Southern Lab HS||**|
|Langston Frederick||CB||League City, TX||Clear Springs HS||**|
|Curtis Hodges||WR||Mesa, AZ||Mountain View HS||***|
|K.J. Jarrell||DB||Scottsdale, AZ||Saguaro HS||****|
|Tyler Johnson||DL||Gilbert, AZ||Highland HS||****|
|Ryan Kelley||QB||Chandler, AZ||Basha HS||****|
|Alex Perry||DB||Las Vegas, NV||Bishop Gorman HS||****|
|Brandon Ruiz||K||Gilbert, AZ||Williams Field HS||***|
|Trelon Smith||RB||Houston, TX||Cy Ridge HS||***|
|Kyle Soelle||LB||Scottsdale, AZ||Saguaro HS||***|
|Corey Stephens||OL||Scottsdale, AZ||Saguaro HS||***|
|Dougladson Subtyl||DL||Bunnell, FL||Flagler-Palm Coast HS|
|Ty Thomas||S||Lubbock, TX||Cooper HS||***|
|Mark Walton||TE||Yuma, AZ||Cibola HS||**|
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