Arizona State’s football program may have had some early promise, but those who delivered on their commitments had no doubts about where they wanted to spend their college years.
Wednesday marked the first day of the early signing period and ASU landed six prospects — five high school players one community college transfer. Most will fill important gaps.
Among the additions from the high school ranks is placekicker Carter Brown from Dawson High School in Pearland, Texas, the highest ranked kicker in the nation.
This is the smallest signing class ever, as ASU’s recruiting efforts are slowed by the NCAA’s ongoing investigation into alleged recruiting violations, including having prospects on campus during a downtime. As a result of that investigation, which was launched in June, ASU lost four commitments, including three four-star prospects.
“At the end of the day, ASU is still ASU and that’s where I wanted to be,” said Brown, who made his official visit the weekend the Sun Devils hosted USC.
Brown said the vote of confidence head coach Herm Edwards got from athletic director Ray Anderson after the season finale against Arizona definitely helped.
“It’s good to know that the coaches who signed you will be there,” he said. “I just felt like everything was going to be okay and I never questioned my decision.”
Brown will fill a definite need as ASU struggled in the kicking game. Logan Tyler and Cristian Zendejas were just a combined 6 for 11 on field goal tries with a 40-yard length.
Brown says he looks forward to competing for a starting job right away. He was recruited by ASU special teams coach Shawn Slocum, with whom he was in constant contact three to four times a week.
Others who signed as expected included four-star running back Tevin White from Stafford, Va.; tight end Jacob Newell of Springfield, Oregon; and defensive lineman Robby Harrison of Greenwood, South Carolina.
White, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound, is the highest-ranked rookie in the group, a four-star prospect ranked by 247Sports as the No. 214 prospect nationally, 18th in the job and 10th in the state.
He’s also needed with ASU only having one scholarship player remaining on the roster at this crucial position. First rusher Rachaad White leaves, having already declared for the NFL Draft and second running back DeaMonte “Chip” Trayanum has entered the transfer gate, leaving second Daniyel Ngata as the only stock running back .
White, primarily recruited by running backs coach Shaun Aguano, made his official visit to Tempe on June 11. His last six college choices were Penn State, Georgia, South Carolina, Duke and Tennessee as well as Arizona State.
He is one of many candidates expected to enroll in January.
The unexpected addition to the class is pro-style quarterback Bennett Meredith from Hoover High School in Birmingham, Alabama. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound visited ASU and was in attendance for the 38-15 Territorial Cup win over Arizona. He chose the Sun Devils over Maryland, a school he visited Dec. 10. He was at one time engaged with Northwestern.
Meredith, who was recruited by offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Zak Hill, threw for 2,212 yards and 23 touchdowns with six interceptions, completing 144 of 233 tries. He had 5,318 yards and 47 touchdowns with 12 interceptions during his high school career.
That will leave ASU with four quarterbacks for 2022 with current starter Jayden Daniels playing his final season in 2022.
Also on the list are rookie Trenton Bourguet and true freshmen Finn Collins and Daylin McLemore. The only athlete on this trio who saw playing time was Bourguet, who came on as a relief from Daniels in four games.
Meredith also had offers from Appalachia State, Jacksonville State, Louisiana-Monroe, Toledo and Troy and interests from Duke, Mississippi State, Tulane, West Virginia and southern Alabama.
According to the 247Sports composite, he is the 67th ranked flagger nationwide in the 2022 class.
Also joining the ASU ranks is tight end Bryce Pierre from Mt. San Antonio Community College in Southern California, the same community college that turned out to be Rachaad White.
Pierre played in nine games with 20 catches for 127 yards and three touchdowns.
The two left who had committed but have yet to sign are safety Tristan Dunn of Sumner, Washington and a second community college prospect in defensive lineman Dylan Hall of Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, in California.
Head coach Herm Edwards said Tuesday he would look to fill the list with at least 10 transfers from the NCAA transfer portal. ASU currently has pledges from three of them — safety Derrick Smith (Illinois), tight end Messiah Swinson (MIssouri) and linebacker Rodney Groce Jr. (Mississippi State).
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