For any coach, building a well-rounded recruiting class is an exhausting, yearly experience. Now try cram that process into an accelerated course of about 50 days. You would think that Arizona State head coach Todd Graham might describe that using his favorite phrase: "high octane." Instead, Graham used two different words: "not fun."
Still, it's hard not to like what you see from Graham's first recruiting class as the Sun Devils head coach. Twenty-three new players (14 freshman, eight juniors, one sophomore) will don the maroon and gold next season and here's what Graham had to say about each one in his signing day press conference late Tuesday afternoon:
Evan Goodman - Lakeland Senior HS, Fla. - [Goodman] is a guy we think can be an impact player for us...one the most explosive, athletic tackles in the entire country."
Stephon McCray - Bullard HS, Calif. - "We're going to go pretty fast. We need guys that are athletic...Stephon brings a great deal of athleticism and power...can play tackle or kick into the guard position."
William McGehee - Navarro CC, Texas - "[McGehee] is a diamond in the rough that we found...has tremendous potential...a guy that not many people knew about and one that I think will be exciting for you to watch in the years to come."
Kody Kohl - Mesquite HS, Gilbert - "This guy is tough...I loved sitting in his living room and visiting with him and watching the intensity in this guys eyes...we're excited to see what he's going to be able to do at our [move tight end] position."
Darwin Rogers - Arizona Western College - "He will play our inline tight end position...big, physical athlete...a guy who is a former quarterback."
D.J. Foster - Saguaro HS, Scottsdale - "Some call him the jewel of our class...I don't know that I've ever met a more dynamic player on film that was so impressive to talk with. This guys character is unbelievable...I'm pretty excited about those 10 touchdown in one game too."
Terrell Davis - Mount Douglas Senior Secondary, Canada - "Will be a three-back type player for us...a very physical runner...we're really proud to have him as part of our class."
Marion Grice - Blinn CC, Texas - "Marion is the number one JC running in America...a guy who is a very physical and explosive runner inside...he provides big play capability."
Alonzo Agwuenu - Mt. San Antonio JC - "A big-time deep threat for us...a guy who scored 17 touchdowns."
Josiah Blandin - Long Beach Poly, Calif. - "A guy who has tremendous potential...we like those big, explosive guys on the outside."
Richard Smith - Long Beach Poly, Calif. - "One of the most dynamic guys in this class...he can play our move receiver position."
Jaxon Hood - Hamilton HS, Chandler - "We're really fired up about Jaxon...very powerful...we want to impact the quarterback...this guys is an impact player on the inside...can play three-technique or five-technique."
Milo Jordan - Centennial HS, Calif. - "He's a three-technique....a guy that's really explosive off the football."
Mike Pennel - Scottsdale CC - "Absolutely epitomizes power...a guy that loves this place...you build your defense from the inside out so we're really excited about what his potential is."
Jake Sheffield - College of the Desert, Calif. - "Jake is very, very unique...a guy who he looks up to is Pat Tillman...has two tours in Iraq...really impressed with the discipline and character he brings with him."
Salamo Fiso - Long Beach Poly, Calif. - "A guy who I think is one of the most underrated players in this class...this is a guy who the Sun Devil fans are going to love...sky is the limit...you guys remember that name."
Steffon Martin -Arizona Western College - "4.5 forty guy...plays inside linebacker that can flat run...he's mature and ready to come in and be an impact player for us."
Carlos Mendoza - Oaks Christian HS, Calif. - "A playmaker...our offensive staff and our defensive were arguing over which side of the ball they want him to play on...unbelievable mindset."
Matthew Rowe - Long Beach Poly, Calif. - "A pass rusher...a young man who we think will be really impactful off the edge."
Chris Young - Arizona Western College - "will play the strong safety/outside linebacker position...an incredible blitzer...you're going to see him come off the edge an awful lot here in the near future."
Viliami Moeakiola - Trinity HS, Texas - "A guy we think can come in and play early...a guy who knows how to win."
Oliver Johnson Pierce College, Calif. - "We're going to play a lot more press coverage...he's a lockdown corner...a guy who we think can come in and help us immediately."
Easton Wahlstrom - Desert Mountain HS, Scottsdale - "People underestimate the importance of [deep-snapping]...a tremendous athlete...unbelievable at snapping the football."