Arizona State seeking another 12 players in transfer portal for 2022 class

Dec 22, 2021, 2:37 PM | Updated: 3:45 pm
The Arizona State Sun Devils run onto the field before the Territorial Cup game against the Arizona...
The Arizona State Sun Devils run onto the field before the Territorial Cup game against the Arizona Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE — The Arizona State Sun Devils fully intend on using the transfer portal to bring in a multitude of players to Tempe for the recruiting class of 2022.

That’s largely due to the ongoing NCAA investigation on recruiting violations that has made it difficult for head coach Herm Edwards and Co. to recruit high school players.

Last week, ASU announced six early signings for the class of 2022 last week — none of which are from Arizona — and only one was a four-star recruit in RB Tevin White out of North Stafford High School in Stafford, Va.

“This portal thing is real. We’re not done by any stretch of the imagination bringing in players,” Edwards said Tuesday. “We’re going to add another — we have about eight now that have committed to us, high school kids as well — we’re going in the portal looking for another 12 guys. So this team will look a lot different than it does right now.”

As part of the ongoing investigation, associate head coach, defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator Antonio Pierce was reportedly removed from traveling on recruiting trips.

It also caused assistant coaches Prentice Gill (receivers), Chris Hawkins (defensive backs) and Adam Breneman (tight ends) to be put on administrative leave before the start of the 2021 season due to their roles in the alleged recruiting violations.

But the NCAA investigation isn’t the only reason why Edwards wants to bring in a dozen players via the transfer portal.

Arizona State has already lost the likes of running back DeaMonte “Chip” Trayanum — who entered the transfer portal on Nov. 29 — in addition to wide receiver Johnny Wilson, who also reportedly entered the portal on Tuesday.

With the Sun Devils losing 21 seniors, the transfer portal will allow ASU to bring in older, more experienced players who are more ready to play at the college level than a younger classman.

“We need some experience at certain positions. We know that,” Edwards said. “We’ve reached out to a lot of players and there’s some interest and now it’s just a waiting game. You have to recruit them too a little bit, so that’s part of it and we understand that. We’re going to have an opportunity to bring in some guys that can help us.”

ASU for the first time in the Edwards era is turning heavily to the portal as other teams like Arizona, Oregon and USC grapple for positioning. It can turn the fortunes of bad football teams around quickly, as well as help combat losing the recruiting battle within a school’s own state.

The Wildcats had 23 early commits, four of whom are from the Valley and one transfer from UCLA. Four of those 23 players are four-star high school recruits, with wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan being the highest-rated commit in school history.

And in just the last week, the Pac-12 has seen former USC and Auburn quarterbacks Kedon Slovis and Bo Nix transfer to Pittsburgh and Oregon, respectively.

“The portal is a way that’s changed college football,” Edwards said. “I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but it’s kind of interesting now when you look at that situation. … I just think it’s a new way of looking at things.”

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