Arizona State edged out a large field of suitors to land a commitment from 4-star JUCO receiver Eric Lauderdale on Friday, according to Derek Tyson of ESPN:
Wide Reciever Eric Lauderdale has committed to #ArizonaState.— Derek Tyson (@DerekTysonESPN) January 24, 2014
Lauderdale decommitted from Tennessee, his first choice, in the middle of October and began taking widespread visits. Since Nov. 30, he has been to Florida, Nebraska and Oregon in addition to Arizona State, where he was on Jan. 17.
Standing 6'2'', Lauderdale isn't a burner but has the ability to high-point the ball in traffic and make plays when he's not actually open. He could stand to learn a lot from Jaelen Strong, Arizona State's current leading receiver, who forewent the NFL draft to return for his junior year.
Strong is a little bigger at 6'4'', but he could still show Lauderdale some of the ropes. A JUCO transfer himself, Strong came to Tempe as just a 3-star prospect in 2013 and made his presence felt immediately, finishing the year with over 1,100 yards.
Lauderdale will be counted on to make a quick impact on a team that loses senior tight end Chris Coyle and wide receiver Kevin Ozier, who each had more than 350 receiving yards last year. There are some other good pieces returning, but as a quality possession receiver, Lauderdale has a role to play right off the bat—as well as in the future.
Ranked No. 18 overall and No. 3 among receivers on the 247Sports JUCO composite, Lauderdale also had offers from California, Miami, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin in addition to the group of schools mentioned earlier.
With Taylor Kelly and Strong both returning, and now this, Arizona State is expected to compete for another Pac-12 South Championship in 2014.
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT