ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

ASU football: 3 true freshmen 247Sports expects to have early impact

Feb 9, 2020, 3:22 PM
Head coach Herm Edwards enters the field prior to a game against the UCLA Bruins  on October 26, 20...
Head coach Herm Edwards enters the field prior to a game against the UCLA Bruins on October 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

In 2019, ASU football head coach Herm Edwards was not shy about playing freshmen.

Over the first three weeks of the season, 28 freshman saw game action, including true freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels and true freshman center Dohnovan West.

Who could follow their footsteps this season?

Recruiting site 247Sports projects at least three Sun Devils to get opportunities early.

The site predicted 24 players across the nation and a handful of other players to watch for on its 2020 All-Impact Team for freshmen who could start. These players aren’t necessarily among the best incoming freshmen in the country, but instead have the “best combination of ready-to-play skill and depth chart opportunity.”

LV Bunkley-Shelton is one of three wide receivers in the country 247Sports projects to be an immediate starter due to his aptitude as a slot receiver and his route-running abilities.

He was the only ASU receiver 247Sports mentioned by name, but the site said more freshmen have the opportunity.

“Really, you could consider any of Arizona State’s trio of four-star wide receiver adds here,” 247Sports reporter Chris Hummer wrote.

Simply put, don’t be surprised if you see Johnny Wilson or Elijhah Badger — or even Chad Johnson Jr., who recently gained his fourth star. But 247Sports thinks Bunkley-Shelton is the most-likely option.

“Somebody needs to fill that role for rising sophomore quarterback Jayden Daniels, who will be the focal point of Arizona State’s attack. Bunkley-Shelton has all the necessary tools to play quickly.”

Daniyel Ngata was listed as a running back to watch for. Now ranked the No. 3 all-purpose back in the nation, Ngata is a shifty runner who can catch the ball out of the backfield, too. With Eno Benjamin entering the NFL Draft, Ngata has a chance to seize the starting spot — though fellow incoming freshman DeaMonte Trayanum will have something to say about that.

On defense, Jordan Banks was a linebacker listed as a player to look out for. A four-star player from the powerhouse Narbonne High School in California, Banks had 68 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and three interceptions as a senior.

An Arizona high school player also made the list. Damian Sellers, a linebacker from Saguaro in Scottsdale, was UCLA’s highest-rated commit in 2020 and will likely be looked at as a replacement for one of the two starting outside linebackers who graduated.

“Sellers had a productive high school career, posting five sacks in his final game of high school football. He’ll bring a pass rushing element to the UCLA roster that the Bruins have lacked throughout Chip Kelly’s tenure.”

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ASU football: 3 true freshmen 247Sports expects to have early impact