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Arizona State’s Herm Edwards makes SI’s most intriguing head coach list

Aug 7, 2022, 7:08 AM
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards speaks during the Pac-12 Conference men's NCAA college football me...

Arizona State coach Herm Edwards speaks during the Pac-12 Conference men's NCAA college football media day Friday, July 29, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

It’s not for the best of reasons, but a bit of national attention will be on Arizona State football head coach Herm Edwards this upcoming season.

Sports Illustrated senior writer Pat Forde listed Edwards 25th on his rankings of the most intriguing college football head coaches to watch heading into the 2022 season.

The out-of-the-box hire in 2018 might be running out of real estate now. The former NFL coach and ESPN analyst hasn’t had a losing season (he’s 25–18) but the weight of a major NCAA investigation has the program close to buckling. Staff turnover, voluminous transfers and a paltry incoming recruiting class point toward a grim autumn for Herm. In an era of in-season firings, keep an eye on Tempe.

The NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting indiscretions gutted his assistant coaching staff and has tanked ASU’s recruiting efforts.

For this year, Arizona State has touted the 43 newcomers to the team to work under a handful of new coaches, including offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas and defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson.

The Pac-12 preseason media poll, however, might greatly factor all that in while expecting the Sun Devils to finish 10th in the conference.

Looking down the road, ASU currently has patched together the 88th-ranked recruiting class in the nation for 2023, according to 247 Sports.

For a team that helped boost Edwards’ talent pool by hitting the recruiting front hard in the first two seasons of his tenure, it appears to be a red flag that Arizona State is now just behind the likes of Florida Atlanta, Nevada, Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Toledo, Miami (Ohio), Coastal Carolina and Liberty in terms of recruiting comparisons.

Obviously, some — but nothing close to all — of the pressure will dissipate if ASU can get rolling in a hurry under new coaches and a new starting quarterback.

The Sun Devils open the season Sept. 1 against Northern Arizona before traveling to Oklahoma State, hosting Eastern Michigan and then beginning Pac-12 play against the projected favorite in the conference, the Utah Utes.

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