The good news is that Arizona State has almost everyone back and will be one of the favorites in the Pac-12 South. The bad news is that means the Sun Devils were fairly limited in their 2011 recruiting class.
Coach Dennis Erickson signed 14 players, plus put a kicker on scholarship, in a recruiting class that received tepid reviews. What really hurt is that in a good year for elite in-state talent -- especially on the offensive line -- Arizona State failed to land any of the state's top seven recruits, according to Rivals.com.
Moreover, Arizona State signed just one of the state's top 14 prospects.
"It really hasn't changed," Erickson said of in-state recruiting, "because it's still about evaluation of players and who fits into your system."
Despite the low recruiting numbers, the Sun Devils appear to be a team on the rise in Erickson's fifth season. Arizona State won its final two games of last season to finish at 6-6 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-10, often starting just one senior. The team also loses junior defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, who declared early for the NFL Draft.
Arizona State ended signing day with a couple of scholarships available, and Erickson suggested the team might be looking at some transfers. The Sun Devils would have liked to have filled those spots on signing day, but they finished poorly, losing out on Tucson running back Ka'Deem Carey (Arizona) and Tempe defensive tackle Todd Peat Jr. (Nebraska).
"As we went through it, we got areas that we wanted to. Not totally, but that's what recruiting is all about," Erickson said. "You look at our class and some of the flips and some of the things that happened, people panic a little bit. But we accomplished what we felt like we needed to accomplish."
TOP OF THE CLASS
DL Mo Latu (Perry High, Gilbert, Ariz.) -- Arizona State's top in-state recruit could end up as a 300-plus-pound run-stuffer early in his career, or he could be moved to offense. He dominated on both sides of the ball in high school, and he was rated as the No. 2 center in the nation by Rivals.com.
WR Gary Chambers (Ironwood High, Glendale, Ariz.) -- Arizona State needs more playmakers on the outside, and that need gives Chambers a chance to play early. He's 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, and coach Dennis Erickson says, "He can run. He's an excellent basketball player, the kind of guy who you want outside. That's what we were looking for. We were looking for an outside receiver."
QB Michael Eubank (Centennial High, Corona, Calif.) and QB Mike Bercovici (Taft High, Woodland Hills, Calif.) -- The quarterback position was a strength of this class, with Bercovici already enrolled in classes. The strong-armed Bercovici didn't waver after committing in the summer and throwing for 3,755 yards and 37 touchdowns as a senior. He was rated the No. 14 pro-style quarterback in the country by Rivals.com. Eubank's signing went to the wire, but he stayed with the Sun Devils over Utah and Pittsburgh. Eubank is regarded as an excellent athlete, a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com.
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