Arizona State's Lack of Coaching Stability Impacts Recruiting

Kristian SiutaCorrespondent IIDecember 24, 2009

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 28:  Head coach Dennis Erickson of the Arizona State Sun Devils during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona.  The Wildcats defeated the Sun Devils 20-17.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson is currently in the process of searching for a new, innovative, yet competent offensive coordinator to run the Sun Devils offense next season, but he is not going to rush through the process.

However, for recruiting purposes moving forward, the quicker Erickson pulls the trigger, the better for Arizona State's future. 

In recent weeks, the Sun Devils' recruiting efforts have taken a drastic hit, for one reason or another.

In terms of offense, the Sun Devils thought to have their quarterback prospect of the future in San Diego area quarterback Pete Thomas. The Golden State gunslinger was ranked in the top 20 quarterbacks according to and passed for over 3,100 yards as a junior at Valhalla High School in El Cajon. 

Unfortunately, the Sun Devils will no longer be looking forward to his services come this spring. Right before the early signing period for Junior College prospects and early enrolled high school athletes, Thomas opened up his recruitment after pledging to the Maroon and Gold back in June.

Quite possibly the lack of certainty revolving around the quarterback coach and the offensive coordinator for next season was the main reason for Thomas to open up his commitment. Just a couple days ago, on Dec. 21, Thomas pledged to sign with the Colorado State Rams of the Mountain West Conference.

Now how much of an impact will that have on ASU's depth chart entering next season? Well, the Sun Devils already have three scholarship quarterbacks for next fall, including two young right-handed signal callers that started for Erickson's squad this season.

On the bright side, the Sun Devils might have done their best recruiting effort last season, when Erickson and former quarterbacks coach Rich Olson persuaded former Michigan starting quarterback Steve Threet to transfer to ASU and compete for the Sun Devils' starting job this spring. 

However, the offensive side of the football was not the only area that has taken a hit in recruiting recently. Bruce Irvin, who is listed as a five-star defensive end from Mount San Antonio College, was slated to fill the void left by the graduating Dexter Davis. However, two days after Thomas pledged to sign with the CSU Rams, Irvin chose to switch his commitment to the West Virginia Mountaineers.  

Most would think that Thomas' switch to Colorado State would be much more influential than Irvin's switch to head to the Big East. However, in ASU's case, Irvin was penciled in to start from day one for Arizona State.

In the case of Thomas, he was slated to redshirt in 2010 unless his abilities and production during spring and fall workouts wowed the coaching staff.  

Now, if you consider the losses that ASU has sustained in the past week, many would think that Recruiting Coordinator Matt Lubick would hit the ground running to fill these losses sooner rather than later.  

With Arizona State already having three scholarship quarterbacks on their roster for 2010, the loss of Thomas most likely will not be filled by another commit, unless it is a walk-on. But the options to fill the loss of Irvin will be evaluated instantly. 

One of those options since day one has been Jackson Jeffcoat. Jeffcoat is ranked the No. 1 defensive end in the country and might quite possibly be the best overall athlete in the nation.

Jeffcoat, from Plano, TX, has ties to ASU already. His father, Jim Jeffcoat, played at ASU and went on to have a very successful career in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. If Jeffcoat signs with ASU, no one will remember the name Bruce Irvin come early February when recruits sign their letters of intent. 

However, if the Sun Devils want to keep progressing on the offensive side of the football and continue to enroll top athletes from the West Coast, hiring a new offensive coordinator has to be a top concern for Erickson.