ASU football focused on California, 5 4-star players sign letter of intent

Dec 18, 2019, 6:19 PM | Updated: 6:30 pm
Arizona State football head coach Herm Edwards talks in a press conference on National Signing Day ...
Arizona State football head coach Herm Edwards talks in a press conference on National Signing Day on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in Tempe, Ariz. (Torrence Dunham/Arizona Sports)
(Torrence Dunham/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — Thirteen high school football players used National Signing Day on Wednesday to sign their letter of intent to play for Arizona State next season.

ASU was able to sign five four-star players, including WR Johnny Wilson who was committed to Oregon but flipped to ASU.

The Sun Devils had the No. 35th-ranked recruiting class in the nation at the end of the day, according to 24/7 Sports, after starting out No. 48th on Wednesday morning.

In total, eight of the 13 players hail from California, including four-of-the-five four-star players.

“Our home base is Southern California, no hidden agenda about it. It’s where the most talent comes from,” Sun Devil recruiting director/assistant coach Antonio Pierce said in a press conference on Wednesday. “When this program is rocking and rolling, that’s where they come from.”

“There’s some really good players in Southern California and there’s a couple of programs in that area that’s not doing well,” he added. “It’s time for us to kind of get on top of them and take advantage of it because when they are doing well, it’s hard.”

While the UCLA (28) and California (33) recruitment classes rank ahead of Arizona State, former powerhouse USC is all the way down at 78th nationally, worst in the Pac-12.

Wilson, who is from Calabasas, Calif., is six-feet-six, 225 pounds. His addition is another weapon for the arsenal of quarterback Jayden Daniels, who head coach Herm Edwards said was involved in recruiting Wilson, along with Pierce and other coaches.

“Why wouldn’t Jayden be involved in that?” Edwards said. “He was sitting in my office when all of this was taking place and he had a big smile on his face.”

Edwards mentioned Daniels is very much involved in the process of recruiting players to what he and the coaching staff are growing in the desert.

“He’s been a big part of this and he’s been at the dinners, he knows a lot of these guys. He’s played against them. They know who he is,” Edwards said. “He has that ability to bring guys to the table that maybe had other aspirations of going somewhere else…They looked at our team, how young it was and go, ‘Man, they’ll actually let you play.”

The Sun Devils also have recruits coming from Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Ohio, the latter being the home of RB DeaMonte Trayanum, the only 4-star player recruited from anywhere outside of California.

Along with the comfortable environment Edwards and his family showed Trayanum and his mother when they visited – adding he played Fortnite with his daughters – the coaching staff believes competition and the opportunity to play for a spot as a freshman is what drives players like Trayanum to suit up for Arizona State.

“It goes back to what we’ve been talking about, this whole process in our recruiting models opportunity,” Pierce said. “Our running back just left. There’s a great opportunity here. There are some guys on our roster that’s going to have to compete and some guys coming in that want to compete. Let the best man win, right?”‘

Edwards said there is still work to be done before training camp, with Pierce adding 65-70% of this recruiting class will be from California and southern California in general.

Below is the 2020 football recruits who have sent in their national letters of intent to the Sun Devils.

ASU football 2020 signees

WR Johnny Wilson, Calabasas High School (Calabasas, Calif.) — 4 stars

RB DeaMonte Trayanum, Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio) — 4 stars

DB D.J. Taylor, Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Fla.) — 3 stars

Athlete T. Lee, Buford High School (Buford, Ga.) — 3 stars

OT Ben Bray, Red Mountain High School (Mesa, Ariz.) — 3 stars

LB Jordan Banks, Narbonne High School (Harbor City, Calif.) — 4 stars

DE Joe Moore, Cardinal Ritter College Prep (St. Louis, Mo.) — 3 stars

OG Jacob Nunez, Lompoc High School (Lompoc, Calif.) — 3 stars

DB Edward Woods, McClymonds High School (Oakland, Calif.) — 3 stars

DE Omarr Norman-Lott, Grant Union High School (Sacramento, Calif.) — 4 stars

ILB Caleb McCullough, Pacifica High School (Oxnard, Calif.) — 3 stars

WR Chad Johnson Jr., Cathedral High School (Los Angeles, Calif.) — 4 stars

CB Macen Williams, Narbonne High School (Harbor City, Calif.) — 3 stars

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