Arizona State fans rejoiced last week when 4-star quarterback Brady White committed to ASU, which is another sign that the Sun Devils are on the upswing.
After being spurned by Joshua Dobbs in a last-minute flip to Tennessee in 2013 and not signing a passer in 2012, ASU completely missed on signing a quarterback in Todd Graham's first two recruiting classes. With White being ranked as the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the 2015 class and the highest-ranked QB to ever commit to ASU since 2002, he is sure to bring a new dynamic to the offense, as well as help attract other top recruits to the program.
Let's take a look at five of the biggest takeaways from White's commitment to ASU.
He can help lure big talent to Tempe
This starts with friend and current teammate, 4-star wide receiver Trent Irwin.
Though Irwin says that he is not a lock to ASU, according to Rivals.com's Adam Gorney (subscription required), White's commitment does give the Sun Devils a great shot against some of the competition, which includes Stanford and California. Though Irwin will be the first to admit he is not ready to commit to the Sun Devils just yet, he also said that White's commitment may play a role in his decision:
Brady going there is big. Obviously I would like to go somewhere with him but we would both understand if we don't fit in the program or academically or whatever. If it doesn't pan out we could go somewhere else," Irwin said, though he also mentioned that he liked ASU quite a bit. "I visited last Sunday before he committed there," he said. "It was really nice and the coaches seem really cool. They have the Barrett Honors College which is an academic plus for them there. The offense seemed really good and they seemed interested so I like ASU.
Though Irwin doesn't yet have a time frame for when his commitment will come, ASU has a great shot at landing his services, and fans can be sure that White will be in his ear, coaxing him to join him in Tempe.
White's commitment will put ASU in the running for the Pac-12 South
With USC and UCLA both having commitments from 5-star quarterback recruits, ASU has put itself in a solid position to compete with them.
While White is only considered a 4-star recruit, player development is typically challenged and improved upon at the college level much more so than at the high school level. While only time will tell, at the very least, he should help the Sun Devils compete with the talent at USC and UCLA and put ASU in the running for the Pac-12 South title annually.
Having multiple options at quarterback gives ASU the keys to success
After Taylor Kelly's departure following the 2014 season and assuming that ASU signs both of its current quarterback prospects for the 2015 class—White and Bryce Perkins—the battle for the starting quarterback position will begin this year.
Current backup quarterback Michael Bercovici, who had an excellent showing at the 2014 spring game, will go head-to-head against Elite 11 participant Manny Wilkins, as well as Coltin Gerhart, whom deputy head coach Mike Norvell said may be the steal of the class.
The battle may recommence in 2015 with the additions of White and Perkins, but competition will result in the best outcome for the team. According to Chris Karpman of ASUDevils.com (subscription required), it's hard to know who will emerge as the best quarterback, and the only way to find out is by pitting the players against one another:
About half of all quarterbacks are going to eventually transfer or stop playing, that's just the nature of the beast. But if you have more perceived good options to choose from, you're more likely to end up with a very good player to lead your team, and without one of those, you don't have much of a chance as ASU coach Todd Graham has admitted.
White can help the Sun Devils to build a recruiting pipeline
Just like Wilkins did in 2014, White can help make a significant impact in the formation of the 2015 class. Wilkins, who committed to ASU last May, immediately became an advocate for the program, using social media to connect with potential recruits and convince them to come to Tempe.
According to Dan Mohrmann of CHSAANow.com, top-rated recruit Kalen Ballage was wavering on his decision between ASU and several other programs. Ballage didn't name any names, but he did admit that his connection to the players in Tempe encouraged him to ultimately sign with the Devils:
Although he had plenty of options on the table including CU and UCLA, the further in to the recruiting process he got the more he felt the pull from Arizona State. He cited the connection he made with the players down there as a big reason. He had been receiving text messages from those players as signing day neared, but not to pressure him into making a decision. It turned out the guys he had grown close to on his visit just wanted to check in on him and talk about things other than football. That attitude resonated with him and when decision time came, it made things much easier for him.
With social media now playing a much bigger role in recruits' lives than in the past, White has an opportunity to be the next advocate and use his influence to help bring in another top-25 class for ASU in 2015.
ASU needed quarterback talent after not signing any in 2012 or 2013
According to Rivals.com's Chris Karpman, 2012 was the first year since pre-1996 that ASU didn't sign a quarterback. Even though Sun Devils still had three signal-callers on their roster during this time and a great starter in Taylor Kelly, things could have been bleak for the quarterback situation had they not signed two passers in 2014, especially in light of backup Michael Eubank's transfer in January.
Luckily for ASU, the addition of White and Perkins may create a competitive battle for the position, giving the best man the chance to start.