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Herm Edwards-led ASU football a ‘sleeping giant,’ says ESPN’s Riddick

Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils looks on during pregame warm ups prior to the start of an NCAA football game against the California Golden Bears at California Memorial Stadium on September 27, 2019 in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Arizona State football has a few things on its side.

Number one, it has a head coach in Herm Edwards who has captivated and fascinated. Secondly, the program has a freshman quarterback in Jayden Daniels, who has held his own through five games. Third, it has a wealth of staff members with significant NFL experience. And it doesn’t hurt that ASU plays in sunny Tempe, Ariz.

So after a 4-1 start to Edwards’ second season, by which time he’s turned his own highly-criticized hiring into one that’s been praised, ESPN football analyst Louis Riddick told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station that ASU might be a powerhouse waiting to happen.

“Herm has got a sleeping giant that he’s building down there,” Riddick said Thursday. “They need about one or two more solid recruiting classes.

“By the time those new freshman classes come in over the next two years, the guys they have right now that are spectacular like a Jayden Daniels — those guys get older and mature and get physically stronger — you support them with some more 3-, 4-, 5-star players, the Pac-12 better look out, man. ‘Cause they’ve got a whale of a coaching staff.”

That coaching staff includes Edwards, along with NFL alumni like advisor Marvin Lewis, recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach Antonio Pierce and analyst Kevin Mawae, among others.

According to 247Sports, 16 players on ASU’s roster are four-star players. Some of the names on that list include Daniels, linebacker Merlin Robertson, safety Aashari Crosswell, running back Eno Benjamin and defensive back Chase Lucas.

Daniels, who was ranked by that same site as the second-best dual-threat quarterback in the country this past recruiting season, is among the marquee players brought in by Edwards and company. He’s from San Bernardino, Calif.

“Antonio Pierce, he can get any kid in California he wants,” Riddick said. “They should never lose a kid in Arizona or on the West Coast to any school considering what Arizona State has to offer from a campus perspective. They’ve got it going on. They’ve got a team to keep an eye on.”

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