Herm Edwards misremembers Arizona State’s recruitment of Brock Purdy

Jan 30, 2024, 12:00 PM

Herm Edwards looks on...

Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts after the loss to the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on October 16, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

Not that long ago, Super Bowl-bound Brock Purdy was a three-star prospect out of Perry High School in Gilbert looking for a home in the college ranks.

But while the current San Francisco 49ers quarterback resided in Arizona State’s backyard, the Sun Devils were not among the schools truly vying for Purdy’s services.

So when former ASU head coach Herm Edwards told ESPN Radio’s GameNight that he recruited the QB as a member of the 2018 class, eyebrows were raised.

“I laugh at people when they say he’s a game manager,” Edwards said Monday night. “I recruited the kid when he came out of high school. I saw what kind of quarterback he was. He didn’t come to us. He went to Iowa. I ended up getting a pretty good guy in Jayden Daniels, so it all worked out.

“But at the end of the day, I think he’s proven to everybody that he’s more than just a game manager. He is actually a really good quarterback. … When they were behind (the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship), he closed that gap, brought them back and took the lead.”

What do others say about Arizona State’s recruitment of Brock Purdy that differs from Herm Edwards’ memory?

Not only did Edwards get Purdy’s school wrong — Purdy landed at Iowa State — the ex-Sun Devil coach had some revisionist history about his time in the desert.

Edwards’ comments came a day after former ASU recruiting coordinator Donnie Yantis spoke on the Sun Devils’ lack of recruitment of the NFC West signal caller.

“I’ve said this since the day I first watched his (high school) film, Brock Purdy is a winner,” Yantis wrote on X after the 49ers punched their ticket to the Super Bowl behind Purdy.

“And to think our staff didn’t offer him. I shook my head then and have been since then. All the young man has done is win at (Perry High School, Iowa State) and now with the 49ers.”

Luckily for ASU fans, Yantis unearthed a little more behind the Purdy snub while chatting with SunDevilSource’s Chris Karpman.

According to Yantis, the former ASU recruiting coordinator was sent to Perry in December 2017 to let the QB know he could be a preferred walk-on with the Sun Devils.

A month later — after Iowa State and other programs already had offers in on Purdy — the Sun Devils tried to offer but were rejected.

It wasn’t the end of the world. Arizona State didn’t take a quarterback in the 2018 class with returnee Manny Wilkins and backup Dillon Sterling-Cole on the roster.

They did nab 2023 Heisman winner Jayden Daniels in the 2019 class, locking him as an immediate starter who had success as a freshman before his development seemingly stalled under coordinator changes and a talent deficit that grew under Edwards in the next few seasons.

Meanwhile, Purdy ended up going 29-17 in four seasons as a Cyclone before being nabbed by the Niners with the last pick (No. 262) in the 2022 NFL Draft. Now, he’s one game away from being a Super Bowl champion.

Edwards went 26-20 across five years before his firing three games (1-2) into 2022. Now, he’s back with ESPN as an analyst.

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Herm Edwards misremembers Arizona State’s recruitment of Brock Purdy