Arizona State head football coach Todd Graham introduced his 2013 recruiting class at Sun Devil Stadium Wednesday.
He spoke about the state of the program and individually about each member of his 27-player class. The talk even coincided with a PowerPoint slide show listing the accomplishments of each player that signed a national letter of intent to play for ASU.
Although he spoke for an hour, Graham didn't get to speak much on the quarterback position. There's a reason for that. For the second straight year, ASU's recruiting class didn't include a quarterback.
"Obviously, that wasn't the plan," Graham said, referring to the fact that Josh Dobbs of Alpharetta, Georgia had committed to the Sun Devils back in June only to change his mind and sign with Tennessee Wednesday. "We went through that process, evaluated that situation and I'm not going to talk about people that aren't here, like I said, I wish everybody the very best that went elsewhere.
"You don't win every battle, you don't get every kid, but all we can do is do things the right way and that's what we did."
Dobbs' stock rose after his senior season at Alpharetta during which he threw for 3,625 yards and 29 touchdowns for a 7-4 team. But as recently as Tuesday, Graham thought Dobbs would be one of the players he'd be introducing to Sun Devil Nation.
"Obviously, that's something that developed (Wednesday)," Graham said. "We wanted to sign one and we didn't."
New Tennessee head coach Butch Jones shed some light on the late recruitment of Dobbs at a press conference in Knoxville Wednesday, saying that education was a big part of the puzzle.
"I will give the Dobbs family credit. They were probably the most thorough family I have ever recruited. They did their research. They did their homework. So the home visit went exceptionally well and we were able to bring him on campus," Jones said. "I think our engineering department did a tremendous job. He came in and one of the big things on his checklist was the education. Did it fit his needs? The people in our engineering department did a tremendous job of selling him on what we had and showing him. That was a big hurdle and just continue relationships, and we found out late last night."
Although Dobbs' flip-flop is disappointing, Graham was quick to point out that his team is still very well-staffed at the position.
"We're sitting great at quarterback. We've got a tremendous young man in Taylor Kelly, you've got Michael Eubank and you've got Mike Bercovici. We're sitting in a great situation."
Kelly won the starting job last fall and had a very good season for the Sun Devils, throwing for 3,039 yards and 29 touchdowns while ranking ninth nationally in passing efficiency.
Eubank saw spot duty during his redshirt freshman season, throwing for 340 yards and four touchdowns while running for 220 yards and four more scores.
Bercovici, who was thought to be the favorite for the starting spot in 2012, didn't play and ended up redshirting. Kelly's seemingly firm grasp on the position has led to speculation that either Eubank or Bercovici could end up transferring to another school, as has been pretty common in college football over the last decade or so.
"Everybody analyzes that and they talk about 'this guy and that guy is gonna transfer' -- they haven't transferred yet," Graham said with a tone of frustration. "I have confidence in all three of those guys and we're more than fine, we're great at that position, but it is something we'll look at to bring somebody in here whether that's next year or in the meantime, I don't know yet."
Arizona State Football 2013 Recruiting Class
|Chans Cox||LB||Blue Ridge HS (Lakeside, AZ)||****||****||***|
|Kisima Jagne||DL||Chandler HS (Chandler, AZ)||***||***||***|
|Christian Westerman||OL||Transfer from Auburn (Chandler, AZ)||****||*****||N/A (Transfer)|
|Nick Kelly||OL||American River CC (Sacramento, CA)||***||**||***|
|Joseph Morris||WR||Pierce College (West Palm Beach, FL)||***||N/A||***|
|Ellis Jefferson||WR||Guyer HS (Denton, TX)||***||***||***|
|Marcus Hardison||DL||Dodge City CC (La Gorda, FL)||****||***||****|
|Matt Haack||P||Dowling HS (West Des Moines, IA)||**||***||**|
|Antonio Longino||LB||Hutchinson CC (East Cleveland, OH)||***||***||***|
|Eriquel Florence||LB||Contra Costa College (Valley, AL)||***||***||***|
|Demetrius Cherry||DL||Contra Costa College (Frostproof, FL)||***||***||***|
|Grant Martinez||TE||Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, AZ)||***||***||***|
|Cameron Smith||WR||Coppell HS (Coppell, TX)||***||***||NR|
|Jack Powers||OL||Palma HS (Sallinas, CA)||***||***||***|
|Alani Latu||LB||Rancho Cucamonga HS (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)||***||***||***|
|Viliami Latu||LB||Rancho Cucamonga HS (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)||****||***||***|
|Ronald Lewis||WR||West Jefferson HS (Harvey, LA)||***||***||***|
|De'Marieya Nelson||TE||San Joaquin Delta College (Stockton, CA)||**||***||***|
|Corey Smith||DL||O. Perry Walker School (New Orleans, LA)||***||***||***|
|Jaelen Strong||WR||Pierce College (Philadelphia, PA)||***||***||****|
|William Earley||CB||West Mesquite HS (Mesquite, TX)||***||***||***|
|James Johnson||S||Upland HS (Upland, CA)||***||***||***|
|Jayme Otomewo||S||Dorsey HS (Los Angeles, CA)||***||***||***|
|Damarious Randall||DB||Mesa CC (Pensacola, FL)||***||***||***|
|Solomon Means||DB||Butte College (Stockton, CA)||**||**||NR|
|Marcus Ball||ATH||Westerville-South HS (Westerville, OH)||***||***||***|
|Nick Begg||DE||Rancho Santa Margarita HS (Santa Margarita, CA)||***||***||***|