This past week, Arizona State received their first verbal commit of the New Year.
Quinton Pedroza, from Chino Hills, CA, has all the attributes in an athlete that coaches admire: size, speed, and good hands. From Erickson’s point of view, that is a great starting point for an incoming freshman.
At 6’3”, 205 pounds, Pedroza hauled in 54 receptions for 1072 yards and 16 TDs. Pedroza scored at least one touchdown in 11 of 12 games during his senior season.
In high school, Pedroza’s size was an immediate mismatch at the line of scrimmage. In college, his 4.48 in the 40-yard dash should translate over in a similar fashion.
However, Erickson’s receiving corps at the moment is stockpiled in Tempe.
Along with Pedroza, Erickson has already received a verbal commitment from Gary Chambers, another wide receiver from Glendale’s Ironwood High School.
With 10 scholarship receivers on the books for 2011, the picture is unclear where both Pedroza and Chambers will end up in the rotation. The early sentiment regarding Chambers seems to be wavering closer to the greyshirt rather than the redshirt.
Chambers is a borderline prospect in terms of academics, but a greyshirt year would help with the classroom hurdles.
With only three weeks remaining until national signing day, Sun Devil fans are still wondering when, or even if, the marquee names will sign with ASU.
Christian Westerman, a highly touted offensive lineman from Chandler, AZ, teased the Sun Devils for about a cup of coffee. Then just as fast as ASU was in the mix, the Sun Devils were no longer in contention, while Texas and USC compete for another Grand Canyon state prospect.
Although Westerman spurned the Sun Devils, the hope surrounding Erickson’s program revolves around the remaining local talent still left to sign. The recruiting process has now transformed into a waiting game, with last-ditch efforts coming from all angles.
With only one pure offensive lineman committed to date, Cyrus Hobbi (Scottsdale, AZ), Vi Teofilo (Phoenix, AZ), Todd Peat (Tempe, AZ), Mo Latu (Gilbert, AZ), and even former Arizona Wildcat verbal commit Kadeem Carey (Tucson, AZ), has also considered the Sun Devils as of late.
With Dennis Erickson losing out to Oregon, Penn State and Texas for local road graders, receiving signed letters of intent from Hobbi, Peat and Latu would ease the pain of big names like Westerman opting to enroll elsewhere.
Since 2007—Erickson’s first recruiting class—the Sun Devils have received only 29 commits from in-state recruits. On the other hand, Erickson has persuaded 51 athletes from neighboring California to sign letters of intent during that same time period.
Although the results in recent seasons do not indicate much progress moving forward—including an underwhelming 2011 recruiting class to date—it is not how you start that counts. Even during the 2010 season, the Sun Devils displayed resiliency and determination to compete.
You better believe that Dennis Erickson and Grady Stretz (ASU’s Recruiting Coordinator) are going to exude the same finishing aspect that the Sun Devils exuded against UCLA and Arizona to end the 2010 campaign.
On February 2nd, all the speculation and deception will come to an end.