Arizona State added two of the final pieces to its 2010 signing class this weekend, as local kicker Alex Garoutte and California speedster Kyle Middlebrooks gave their verbal commitments to the Sun Devils while officially visiting the Tempe Campus.
Widely regarded as the top kicker in the state of Arizona, Garoutte (6’1”, 180) starred for Phoenix Brophy Prep on special teams as well as at safety, connecting on 15-of-21 field goal attempts with a long field goal of 54 yards, while adding 70 tackles, one-and-a-half sacks and one interception from his safety position.
Garoutte possesses a tremendously strong leg, as he converted three field goals over 50 yards and five of his six missed attempts came from 48 yards or further. Also potent on booming kickoffs for touchbacks, for Garoutte to earn a scholarship offer from the Sun Devils essentially tabs him as the heir apparent to 2007 Lou Groza Award winner Thomas Weber, who will be a fifth-year senior in 2010.
The likely plan is for Garoutte to either redshirt in 2010 or possibly greyshirt and postpone his enrollment until next spring; however with Weber exhausting his college eligibility this upcoming season, Garoutte has the possibility to be a four-year kicker for the Devils.
Currently rated a two-star prospect by Scout.com, Garoutte chose ASU over offers from Air Force and Weber State. He is also only the third kicker or punter since 2003 to begin his career at ASU as a scholarship athlete, joining kicker Jesse Ainsworth (2003) and punter Jonathan Johnson (2006)—all others began as walk-ons.
One of the fastest athletes in the state of California, Middlebrooks (5’9”, 176) committed to ASU over rival Arizona on Saturday, giving the Sun Devils the services of an explosive, multi-purpose competitor.
Comparable to current Sun Devil Jamal Miles and former all-purpose threat Rudy Burgess, Middlebrooks will see time either as a slot receiver or in the backfield, as the coaches will find any possible way to exploit his 4.38 40-yard dash speed.
As a senior at Fountain Valley (Calif.) High School in 2009, Middlebrooks totaled 1,347 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns while adding 22 receptions for 316 yards. In addition to his blazing football speed, he has been clocked running a 10.48 100-meter dash in track and field.
In addition to ASU and Arizona, Middlebrooks officially visited Utah and Washington and also received offers from Idaho, San Diego State, and UNLV.
With the two weekend additions ASU’s class is up to 24 members, and by most accounts the Sun Devils may not surpass 25 total commitments.
For exclusive interviews with Alex Garoutte and Kyle Middlebrooks and 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 .