The Arizona St. Sun Devils were in danger of seeing their recruiting class implode when head coach Dennis Erickson was fired, but Todd Graham came in and made some nice recovering to retain the majority of the talent needed to keep ASU football competitive.
Ben Glicksman of Sports Illustrated gives his grades of new head coaches and their relative performance in recruiting, and Graham comes out favorably.
B+. How's this for a stunner? Not only did Graham finagle his way out of Pittsburgh following one disappointing 6-6 season, but he also managed to attract some of the nation's premier recruits to join him in Tempe. Saguaro, Ariz., athlete D.J. Foster, Rivals' No. 71 recruit, accumulated 3,058 rushing yards and 60 touchdowns as a senior, while Marion Grice, Rivals' top-ranked JUCO running back out of Blinn College (Cam Newton's former school), earned NJCAA All-America honors. Both should serve as key cogs in the Sun Devils' soon-to-be high-octane attack.
Indeed, keeping a lynchpin like Foster and a sleeper like Grice are huge boosts for the Sun Devils. The Sun Devils needed an elite athlete that could help provide more explosiveness to an offense that didn't have much flexibility and often had to play a 15 yard field to make successful plays. ASU will need more recruiting successes from Graham in the future to maintain that upward trend.
To learn more about the grades of other new coaches and their recruiting performance, click here to read more of the Sports Illustrated article.
To discuss Graham and ASU football recruiting, head on over to House of Sparky.