Analyst: Graham’s confidence in discipline evident in recruiting class

Feb 6, 2013, 2:04 AM | Updated: 2:04 am
LISTEN: Rick Neuheisel, Football Analyst

National Signing Day is just around the corner and the Arizona State Sun Devils will see how they fared on Wednesday.

Pac-12 Network analyst Rick Neuheisel told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Tuesday he was surprised to see head coach Todd Graham’s approach to assembling his recruiting class this year.

“What’s interesting to me is I look at Arizona State’s list and how many junior college players Todd Graham is bringing in,” Neuheisel said. “Nine guys are listed in his class. That’s an enormous number of junior college players. Now certainly they can be helpful filling holes in your roster and so forth. I see two defensive ends, I see two offensive linebackers. Understandably those are issues for him.”

Neuheisel said betting on so many junior college players, who could be undisciplined, is quite risky but Graham’s willingness to bring these players into the fold without concern is a testament to the culture he’s implemented at ASU.

“Todd Graham has a great deal of faith in his system of discipline,” Neuheisel said. “Obviously it was very evident to those who are watching that there was a change at Arizona State with respect to kids adhering to the rules, doing the right things and [Graham] feels like that system is very much in place so he’s not uncomfortable at all in bringing in nine junior college players.”

This year’s expected group of JUCO signees ranks fourth-highest in the nation. The Sun Devils have a high number of impact players returning on both the offense and defense, which affords Graham the luxury of being patient while these guys develop.

ASU has had recent success recruiting junior college players, most notably Marion Grice, Steffon Martin and Chris Young from a year ago.

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