ASU coach Graham gets high marks for recruiting, UA’s Rodriguez not so much

Feb 8, 2012, 5:16 PM | Updated: 6:04 pm

It’s been about a week since schools around the country
signed their 2012 recruiting classes, and rankings have
been pouring in.

And, while nobody can be sure of how good any of these
players will be at the collegiate level, it’s still fun to
speculate — especially if you’re an ASU fan.

According to Ben Glicksman of SI.com,
Todd Graham did the fourth-best job of any of the nation’s
new coaches.

Arizona State’s Todd Graham: B+. How’s this for a
stunner? Not only did Graham finagle his way out of
Pittsburgh following one disappointing 6-6 season, but he
also managed to attract some of the nation’s premier
recruits to join him in Tempe. Saguaro, Ariz., athlete
D.J. Foster, Rivals’ No. 71 recruit, accumulated 3,058
rushing yards and 60 touchdowns as a senior, while Marion
Grice, Rivals’ top-ranked JUCO running back out of Blinn
College (Cam Newton’s former school), earned NJCAA All-
America honors. Both should serve as key cogs in the Sun
Devils’ soon-to-be high-octane attack.

That’s got to make a Sun Devil fan smile, right? After
all, with all the negative attention the school has
received the last couple months it is nice to see some
positive press. And, if Glicksman is right, there will be
more positive press as the wins start to pile up.

But that’s not all.

ASU’s neighbors to the south also hired a new coach, and
Rich Rodriguez was not given high marks for his first crop
of recruits.

Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez: D. Despite being hired
Nov. 22 (earlier than every other coach on this list),
Rodriguez wasn’t able to sign even one four- or five-star
recruit. And he missed on some big names. Fuller — a
seemingly perfect candidate to serve as RichRod’s West
Coast Denard Robinson — spurned the Wildcats in favor of
UCLA. That’s especially brutal given the Bruins already
had T.J. Millweard, a three-star pro-style quarterback out
of Fort Worth, in their class.

Ouch.

One thing that could work in RichRod’s favor is the
recruitment of Scottsdale Chaparral Star Davonte Neal, who
is the top recruit in the state of Arizona as well as one
of the best players in the nation.

The Wildcats are on his list — along with Notre Dame,
Arkansas, North Carolina and others — and bringing him to
Tucson would be a real coup for the first-year coach.

But if Neal, who is expected to announce his college
choice on February 21st, decides against the Old Pueblo,
Arizona’s class will certainly lack starpower.

Penguin Air

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ASU coach Graham gets high marks for recruiting, UA’s Rodriguez not so much