Friday, February 15, 2008

Team Recruiting Countdown: No. 21 Arizona State Sun Devils

No. 21 Arizona State Sun Devils (Pac-10 No. 5)

2008 Haul: 27 signees, 1 Athlon Consensus 100

Scouting Report:

The Sun Devils had a difficult time protecting the quarterback in 2007, giving up 55 sacks for nearly 400 lost yards. They ranked 117th in the nation in sacks allowed. Needless to say, offensive line was an area of focus. The Sun Devils landed five promising o-lineman, headlined by big Zach Schlink (Peoria, Ariz.). Schlink is a versatile prospect who could play tackle or guard.

In a conference that is loaded with potent passing attacks, strong secondary play and a solid pass rush are a must. ASU addressed both of those areas landing six defensive backs and six defensive lineman. Safety/athlete Jarrell Barbour (Peoria, Ariz.) will be a big time force in the defensive backfield for the next few years in Tempe. The inside-outside combination of defensive end Jamaar Jarrett (San Marcos, Calif.) and tackle Lawrence Guy (Las Vegas, Nev.) should really bolster the defensive line.

The most talented group in this class is the offensive skill position players. Wide receiver prospects Kemonte Bateman (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Gerell Robinson (Chandler, Ariz.) will be difference-makers on the outside. Both are incredibly blessed with the physical tools to be game changers on the perimeter. The Sun Devils also got their running back of the future in Ryan Bass (Corona, Calif.). Bass is a wonderful blend of strength and speed.
Although not a highly ranked prospect, one quarterback prospect certainly catches the eye. Jack Elway, son of NFL legend John Elway, visited campus in the fall and committed on the spot. The elder Elway visited with him and by simply being there, helped to convince other prospects to join the Sun Devil band wagon.

Arizona State played the recruiting game very well and signed 14 of his 27 future players from the state of California. Five of those prospects came from one high school: the very prominent Centennial High in Corona, Calif. That is called a pipeline.

In classic Erickson style, Arizona State signed five junior college players as well.

Top Prospect: Gerell Robinson – ATH – Chandler, Ariz. (6-4, 215) AC100 No. 79

Robinson has the body and size of an outside linebacker but he moves like a smaller wide receiver. With the team needs in the defensive secondary, a move to safety is a possibility. His real potential will be on offense at the wideout position. He can be amazing with the ball in his hands. 

Robinson combines tremendous athletic ability with quickness and football smarts. He is a very well-spoken kid who still remains very raw. At the moment he uses great intangibles and instincts, combined with sheer athleticism to make plays. He will need to work on refining his game; learning the subtle nuances of the wide receiver position may take a redshirt year. He is more prepared to play safety now, but the upside at wide receiver could be too high to pass up.

Best of the Rest:

Kemonte Bateman – WR – Los Angeles, Calif. (6-1, 185)
Ryan Bass – RB – Corona, Calif. (5-10,  190)
Jarrell Barbour – DB – Peoria, Ariz. (6-3, 195)
Lawrence Guy – DT – Las Vegas, Nev. (6-6, 280)
Zach Schlink – OL – Peoria, Ariz. (6-4, 300)

Sleeper: Jamaar Jarrett – DE – San Marcos, Calif. (6-6, 240)

This young defensive end prospect is a beast in along the line of scrimmage. He is not overly explosive or speedy but has great size and plays with solid all-around technique. He would fit perfectly in a 3-4 scheme where a bigger, more physical player role is needed on the outside edge. Jarrett has the frame to add some 25-30 pounds, which could turn him into an Adam Carricker power-type defensive end.

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