As National Letter of Intent signing day inches closer with every minute, the final remaining weekends are crucial for teams to solidify their recruiting classes.
The Arizona State Sun Devils hosted four recruits this weekend, while several prospects that have been in ASU’s sights are beginning to claim their respective college destinations.
The most compelling story to emerge since the start of the weekend was the change of plans for junior college safety Eddie Elder (pictured), who had previously been a verbal commitment to Arizona before a transcript discrepancy motivated him to entertain other options.
As DevilsDigest.com reported on Saturday, the 5-11, 190-pounder from the College of San Mateo (Calif.) gave his expected pledge to the Sun Devils and will make the necessary accommodations to begin classes at ASU this week.
The Defensive Player of the Year for California junior colleges and a First-Team All-American by Scout.com, Elder will enter spring drills helping to replace Jarrell Holman and Ryan McFoy, who combined for 20 starts at the two safety positions in 2009.
Four-star junior college offensive tackle Brice Schwab, a former USC commit, visited Tempe this weekend. Though he has the ability to sign on as a midyear transfer, the 6-8, 320-pounder spoke highly of his time at ASU but is expected to evaluate his options before committing to a final decision.
Also visiting this weekend were high school prospects Soma Vainuku and Taylor Kelly.
Vainuku, rated by Scout.com as the No. 33 middle linebacker prospect in the nation, holds ASU in a high regard but will likely consider offers Oregon State and USC before making his selection.
Idaho’s Gatorade State Player of the Year in 2009, Kelly has been committed to Nevada since July but has acknowledged that he would rescind that pledge if ASU were to offer. Though no official word has yet been released, it would come as little surprise to ultimately see Kelly in maroon and gold.
A handful of additional Sun Devil recruits made their college choices this weekend, as safety Ryan Murphy and defensive tackle Fred Thompson, both from Oakland (Calif.) Technical High School, committed to Oregon State, while cornerback Gregory Ducre from Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles gave his verbal pledge to Washington.
On Friday, quarterback Kain Colter from Englewood (Colo.) Cherry Creek High School committed to Northwestern and defensive tackle Matangi Tonga from the College of San Mateo (Calif.) gave his intent to sign with Houston.
Tonga was generally expected to become a Sun Devil; however a tumultuous past including a number of legal encounters that led to his dismissal from BYU, Arizona State’s athletics administration would not authorize the Sun Devil staff to provide Tonga a scholarship offer.
With Feb. 3 rapidly approaching, the Devils currently list 20 verbal commitments—including three expected to start classes Tuesday—and by most accounts, ASU can be expected to add another three to five new Sun Devils before the 2010 class is finalized.
For detailed, up-to-the-minute updates and insight on ASU recruiting and athletics, visit www.DevilsDigest.com.
Joe Healey is a 2006 graduate of Arizona State University and also writes for DevilsDigest.com, Maroon and Gold Illustrated, as well as official ASU football publications and is also involved with The Pat Tillman Foundation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .