It was one thing for Arizona State freshman linebacker Eric Gentry to put his name on the transfer portal. It’s another thing for him to decide that his next school will be one of the Sun Devils’ biggest rivals.
But Gentry does indeed remain in the Pac-12 and will play at USC as news of the move spread on social media Friday.
There were undoubtedly plenty of contenders for the 6-foot-6, 200-pound Philadelphia native who earned Freshman All-American honors last season from ESPN, Pro Football Focus, 247 Sports, Pro Football Network and the FWAA. He was the first consensus freshman All-American at Arizona State since fellow linebacker Merlin Robertson in 2018.
Gentry has started the last three games of 2021 with starter Darien Butler sidelined with a concussion. Gentry’s rookie campaign ended with a start in the Las Vegas Bowl against Wisconsin in which he had five tackles and one tackle for loss.
He finished his freshman season with 45 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, and two pass breakups while playing in all 13 games. He was one of three true Pac-12 freshman linebackers to play at least 250 snaps. The highlight of the season came in a crucial fourth save, when he faced UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the backfield for a momentum-changing play.
Gentry was set to fill the starting role previously held by graduate butler and was widely considered one of the standouts last season.
Gentry has attended all of ASU’s spring practices and seemed happy to be in Tempe, his move apparently coming down to NIL deals with him expecting to garner a good six figures in such endorsements.
Gentry’s loss is one of many blows to the program in recent months. The cloud over the NCAA investigation remains and is no closer to being resolved than it was months ago. ASU has also lagged terribly behind other schools when it comes to offering NIL-like programs that could keep players in the fold.
Two ASU offensive linemen headed to the transfer gate
Redshirt senior Spencer Lovell and redshirt rookie Ezra Dotson-Oyetade are the latest Arizona State players to head to the transfer gate. Both were backup offensive linemen.
The 6-foot-6, 325-pounder has been mostly a backup during his time at Tempe. He started three of the last four games of the season, including the Las Vegas Bowl against Wisconsin at right guard replacing injured senior starter Henry Hattis.
Lovell, a native of Fort Collins, Colorado, saw a few reps with the first team at the start of spring drills last month, but that was largely because other players were missing.
Dotson-Oyetade, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound Texas, didn’t play a game last season and was dressed in a red shirt after arriving in Tempe in 2020 as a four-star prospect. He was also the No. 43 Texas recruit in the class.
The Sun Devils have two starters up front returning to Ben Scott and LaDarius Henderson with Scott moving to the center of right tackle. They lost three starters but brought in reinforcements on the offensive line with Chris Martinez (San Diego State) and Des Holmes (Penn State), both of whom joined the team in January.
They added another transfer starter this week in local product Joey Ramos, a former Iowa State starter. Additionally, the Sun Devils are high on sophomore Isaia Glass who progressed and took a few first-team reps in the spring.
LV Bunkley-Shelton wide receiver, latest Sun Devil to transfer
The Arizona State football team already needed wide receivers, but that position took another hit as redshirt second LV Bunkley-Shelton decided to seek playing time elsewhere and indicated so. on social media on Thursday.
He is the second wide receiver to enter the portal, following Rick Pearsall who did so last week. It also means ASU will be without its top four pass catchers from last season.
The Sun Devils are down to five scholarship wide receivers who combined for 32 receptions for 377 yards and a touchdown last year. Top left is Andre Johnson who had 12 catches for 186 yards.
Bunkley-Shelton, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound, participated in limited spring drills last month after undergoing foot surgery during the offseason. Last season, he recorded 33 catches for 418 yards and two touchdowns. His best game came against Colorado when he had four receptions for 76 yards.
In two years (16 games), Bunkley-Shelton had 44 catches for 518 yards.
ASU was also working him on special teams. He had six punt returns for 28 yards with a 12-yard length last season.
Sunday is the deadline for players to enter the portal and still be able to play in the fall, unless they are doing so as a graduate student.
Deer Valley product Joey Ramos heads to ASU
Arizona State’s football program is a work in progress up front, needing to replace three starters on the offensive line. Local product appears to be a key factor in this transformation, as Deer Valley graduate Joey Ramos shared on social media today that he is transferring from Iowa State to ASU.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound player played in all 13 Cyclones games last year, mostly on special teams.
But in 2020 he has played eight games, starting five of them. That season, the Iowa State squad was named one of 11 semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award, given annually to the nation’s top offensive lines. That year, the team set a school record for rushing touchdowns (31) and posted the second-best scoring offense (32.9) in school history.
Ramos first joined the Iowa State program in 2018, wearing a redshirt in his freshman varsity season.
He had plenty of quality offers outside of high school, eventually signing with Iowa State over suitors such as UCLA, Oregon and Washington, with ASU and Arizona also offering him. He was dubbed a three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN, with Rivals ranking him among the top 30 guards nationally and 247Sports placing him in the top 50 in addition to naming him the sixth-best prospect in the state.
Ramos attended the Under Armor All-America Camp in 2017 and was invited to the 2018 East vs. West All-Star Game at AT&T Stadium. He was a three-time all-state draft pick and also competed in wrestling.
ASU graduated two starters from last season in Kellen Diesch and Henry Hattis with a third, junior Dohnovan West declaring for the draft. Diesch and West are both expected to be selected in the NFL Draft, with that event beginning Thursday in Las Vegas.
ASU adds transfer from Auburn
Arizona State’s football program has signed a second player in as many days and this one should make an impact.
The newest addition is cornerback Roterius Torrance, who transfers from Auburn but previously played at Hutchinson Community College (Kan.), a two-year school with an impressive track record in track and field. He will have two years of eligibility left and was snapped up by the Sun Devils a month after listing his name on the transfer portal.
It’s a needy position for ASU, which graduated its two starters in Chase Lucas and Jack Jones. The only returning player in that position with significant experience is Timarcus Davis who played when everyone was out at different times.
The 6-foot-4, 197-pound player played 10 games at Auburn last season, mostly on special teams. He had five tackles, a breakup and forced a fumble.
Before that, he excelled at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College where he won National Junior College Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-American honors. He propelled his team to its first NJCAA National Championship in 2020. In eight games that season Torrance had 28 tackles, six pass breakups and one interception. He only allowed one pass into coverage.
Torrance was ranked 25th overall prospect and 4th cornerback in his college junior class in the 247Sports Composite rankings. He was initially contracted to Tennessee but returned to Auburn a week later after receiving Auburn’s offer.
Torrance, a Bessemer, Alabama native, is a product of Bessemer City High School, located about two hours from the Auburn campus.
California QB becomes the first recruit of the 2021 cycle
The Arizona State football program has landed its first recruit for the Class of 2023 and it is quarterback Israel Carter from Corona Centennial (California).
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound player has been to Arizona State twice on unofficial visits, with one of those occasions coming earlier this month when the Sun Devils wrapped up their spring exercises with their “Spring Showcase”.
Carter had 10 offers but is only now finishing his junior season. ASU was in its final four schools with other Pac-12 haters in Colorado and Oregon as well as Brigham Young. UNLV, Nevada and Washington State were among his other suitors.
Carter said ASU watched him as early as eighth grade. He had seriously considered ASU and that didn’t change even when a new offensive coordinator came on board in Glenn Thomas.
“I really liked Coach Herm (Edwards) and the other coaches,” Carter said, as he waited for a flight to Las Vegas where he will compete in a 7-on-7 tournament this weekend. “I really felt like they wanted me and we built a good relationship and I really appreciate that.”
As a junior, Carter shared his reps with another quarterback while playing for a program that is one of the best in Southern California. He threw for 844 yards and eight touchdowns with just one interception while completing 60% of his passes and rushing for 316 yards and eight other scores. He helped the Huskies to an 11-1 showing in their season ending in a 21-16 loss to national powerhouse Mater Dei.
Carter had been named by 247Sports as the No. 47 quarterback nationally and the No. 74 talent-laden California player.
Carter said he’s not concerned about the NCAA’s ongoing investigation into recruiting violations that has yet to be resolved. He also didn’t feel the need to wait and see if other more prestigious offers were to come.
“I spoke with Coach Herm about it and he said they were trying to put that behind them and move on with this coaching staff. He was very honest about everything,” he said. he declared. “I’m happy with this decision and it’s where I want to be.”
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