NCF On The Trail: Arizona State Sun Devils

Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 23, 2014
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It was an active weekend for recruits on social media, especially in Los Angeles, where UCLA turned in a huge performance in front of a number of Southern California's elite recruits. This weekend's look at Pac-12 visits through recruits' eyes on social media features stops in Eugene, Tempe, Berkeley and a whole lot of love for the Bruins in Los Angeles.

UCLA's big night

It all started with a bang for the Bruins, as ESPN 300 defensive end Keisean Lucier-South committed to UCLA well before the start of the game against USC.
Lucier-South, the nation's No. 29 prospect, had always been considered a lean to the Bruins, but solidifying his commitment was still cause for celebration in Westwood. It gives UCLA the Nos. 3 and 5 prospects in the state after not signing any of the top 13 California prospects in the 2014 class. Lucier-South was in attendance at the Rose Bowl as well, as UCLA's decisive 38-20 victory over USC made for a nice day for the new commitment. While Lucier-South was in attendance on an unofficial visit, there were more than a few official visitors in town for the Bruins. Perhaps the most important uncommitted official visitor was ESPN 300 guard Joshua Wariboko, the No. 174 prospect in the nation. He was on a visit with UCLA pledge Will Lockett and they had similar thoughts on the atmosphere on campus and at the game. Utah commit George Wilson was at the game and provided a quick snapshot. But the lasting effects from this game might be more felt in the 2016 class, which was loaded in terms of visitors at the Rose Bowl. Outside linebacker Caleb Kelly, the nation's No. 38 prospect in his class, made the drive down. Insider linebacker Lokeni Toailoa, the nation's No. 79 prospect in 2016 retweeted a number of positive UCLA messages and had this simple statement, regarding UCLA's three straight wins in the rivalry. 2016 wide receiver Theo Howard, who holds early offers from both programs, was at the Rose Bowl. Running back Damian Alloway, a new addition to the 2016 ESPN 300, at No. 206 overall, holds an offer from UCLA and wasn't shy about which direction he was leaning Saturday night. UCLA also hosted 2016 prospects Traveon Beck and Frank Martin -- the No. 132 overall prospect in his class. More visitors to Oregon

The Ducks have taken advantage of in season official visitors more frequently than any other Pac-12 program, relying heavily on Autzen Stadium's tremendous atmosphere to make an impression on visitors. This weekend, a few notable uncommitted prospects took official visits in Marquise Doherty and Octavius Spencer, but the visit to watch could be Arizona State junior college linebacker commit Davon Durant. All three prospects likely heard plenty from Oregon's committed prospects in town on official visits -- offensive linemen Shane Lemieux and Jake Hanson. Trip to Tempe

Arizona State had several interesting official visitors on campus, as ESPN 300 prospects John Houston, Stanley Norman and Joseph Wicker all made their way to Tempe. The Sun Devils also hosted committed junior college tight end Raymond Epps on an official visit. Big visitor for Big Game

Cal had a number of commits in town for the Big Game against Stanford. The Golden Bears also received an unofficial visit from 2016 ESPN 300 cornerback Treyjohn Butler, the No. 86 overall prospects who holds early Pac-12 offers from Arizona State, Cal, Washington and Washington State.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

November, 21, 2014
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The penultimate weekend of the regular season is upon us, and that means some serious recruiting weekends in store for several Pac-12 programs. A look at the top three recruiting visits in the Pac-12 includes one staff taking advantage of hosting its rivalry game and two others bringing in recruits to witness their final home games of the regular season.

USC at UCLA

There have been some interesting names linked to the Florida opening, but several coaches believe Marshall's Doc Holliday could be a good recruiting fit in Gainesville. Plus, many expected ESPN 300 OT Chuma Edoga to flip from USC to Georgia, but it looks like the Trojans have won the battle in the end.


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Duke has upped its recruiting efforts in ACC territory and that has helped reel in talented recruits such as ESPN Junior 300 TE Mark Birmingham. Plus, Arizona State already has three pledges from Louisiana thanks largely to the recruiting efforts of offensive coordinator Mike Norvell.

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ESPN 300 receiver Tyron Johnson said he’s “80 percent” sure of where he’s going but things could change dramatically if LSU steps up its pursuit. The battle to land Nick Brossette will be one of the biggest storylines heading into the final months of recruiting.

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Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Central receiver Terrell Chatman committed to Miami early on, but that hasn’t stopped other schools from coming after him. His teammate, Kevin Henry, is working hard to ensure he’ll end up at Oklahoma State.


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UA jersey tour: Nick Brossette

November, 13, 2014
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Nick Brossette knew being selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game was a big deal, but it didn’t truly hit him until he was presented with his honorary jersey at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Family, friends and teammates packed the gymnasium at Baton Rouge’s University Laboratory School, and Brossette had to give a speech in front of the horde of media members that were just feet away from his face with flashing cameras. Following that, Brossette, the nation’s No. 10 running back, spent the next 45 minutes answering questions from reporters and posing for pictures with almost everybody in attendance.

"Whew," Brossette said after he finally got a chance to sit down and catch his breath.

"I started watching the Under Armour Game when I was 8-years-old, and I knew it was a big deal, but man, this was unreal. I remember Jadeveon Clowney going up against La'El Collins. Just looking at those top athletes, showcasing their talent, I wanted to be a part of that. It’s just now starting to sink in that it’s a reality. This is like a dream come true."

These jersey presentations are always a big deal for the schools and communities, but Brossette’s was especially unique because of his recruiting status. Brossette pledged to LSU -- the school that is literally across the street from University Lab -- last August, and he is one of the most dominating offensive players Baton Rouge has seen in years. But when Brossette announced a few months back that he was going to also visit Notre Dame, Texas and Arizona State, the spotlight focused on him even more.

"I think I'm doing a good job of keeping things in perspective and handling the whole recruiting stuff," said Brossette, who visited Notre Dame in early October and will take trips to the Longhorns, Tigers and Sun Devils after his season is over.

"It has taken up a lot of my time. I just try to stay focused with my team, and I’m just trying to get back to the state championship and win it this time. That time on the football field has kind of become my sanctuary. That’s my time away where nobody is asking me where I’m going to school. Just being around my guys and having fun with them helps keep it all in perspective. It keeps me really grounded."

That is another reason he is excited to play in the Under Armour Game. Yes, he knows there will be plenty of questions about his future asked during the week, but he also knows there will be plenty of football.

"Fans are going to see that I work hard," Brossette said. "They're going to see my vision, how powerful I am, and they're also going to see my speed. Everybody questions me about my speed. I think I'm a full package at running back. This is my chance to show them.

"I’ve been looking at the roster and checking out all of the linebackers. I know there are some good ones in the game. I’m looking forward to going up against all of those guys. I can’t wait to blow up a linebacker on the first day of practice."

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 11, 2014
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There wasn't much movement on the Pac-12 recruiting scorecard this weekend, but Utah was able to bounce back from a tough loss to Oregon by scoring a commitment, and Arizona State might have set the stage for one of the conference's stronger runs toward signing day with a big win against Notre Dame. Elsewhere, Stanford is looking to gain some recruiting momentum after some time without a commitment, and several Pac-12 targets are headed out of the area this weekend.


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Arizona State’s victory over Notre Dame Saturday gives the Sun Devils’ huge momentum on the recruiting trail. Texas hasn’t had to rely on junior-college players in the past, but that’ll change some under Charlie Strong.

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Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 9, 2014
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Arizona State dominated the Pac-12 visitor list this weekend, as the Sun Devils hosted four ESPN 300 prospects on official visits and received unofficial visits from at least three 2016 ESPN 300 prospects. Elsewhere, Utah hosted a significant official visitor in ESPN 300 wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and both Arizona and Washington had several California prospects in town.

Sun Devil statement

Arizona State saw everything go right during its biggest recruiting weekend of the season. ESPN 300 prospects Christian Kirk, Brady White, Trent Irwin, Zach Robertson and Porter Gustin were all in attendance to see the Sun Devils put together a big win against Notre Dame.

White has been committed to the Sun Devils for months and is putting in some serious effort to recruit the other four ESPN 300 prospects -- all uncommitted. He has an especially close relationship with Irwin, his high school teammate and good friend.
Kirk is as much of a local celebrity as it gets with hometown recruits, as he has been the top recruiting target for Arizona State and Sun Devils fans alike since his sophomore year. His highly anticipated official visit took place this weekend, and surely Arizona State did everything it could to make an impression. Safety D.J. Morgan, wide receiver Dylan Crawford and outside linebacker Bryce Youngquist -- all 2016 ESPN 300 prospects -- made the trip to Tempe over the weekend and all were impressed by what they saw. The big win might have planted the seeds for a significant 2016 recruiting haul for the Sun Devils. Also in attendance was Arizona State offensive tackle commit Mason Walter. St. Brown visits Utah

While Utah came up short on the scoreboard against Oregon, the game atmosphere in Salt Lake City looked to be impressive as always. And that's a good thing, considering ESPN 300 wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was on his official visit. While the trip to Utah was seen a while ago as somewhat superfluous, considering St. Brown appeared down to Notre Dame, Stanford and USC as his serious options, the Utes at this point shouldn't be considered out of this at all, as the coaches have done a great job recruiting the talented receiver. Utah also had several committed recruits on hand, including linebacker Cody Barton and 2016 athlete Kahi Neves. A Wildcat win

Arizona kept pace in the Pac-12 South with a home win over Colorado. And while Arizona State boasted the lion's share of impact visitors this weekend, the Wildcats had a few of their own.

Arizona tight end commit Jamie Nunley made the trip out from California, and apparently had a chance to spend some time with head coach Rich Rodriguez on the sideline. Huskies host two California juniors

Washington suffered a tough loss to UCLA, but was able to bring at least two 2016 California prospects up to Seattle for the game, in running back Sean McGrew and quarterback Kevin Davidson. While McGrew has Cal and UCLA out front in his recruitment, the trip to Washington shows he's still giving the Huskies a look. And though Davidson is still looking for his first offer, he's been in serious contact with Pac-12 programs such as Cal, Colorado and Washington.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

November, 7, 2014
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The Oregon Ducks raised the bar for visit weekends last week, earning a commitment from ESPN 300 defensive end Canton Kaumatule during the trip and a verbal from 2016 wide receiver Dillon Mitchell two days later. This weekend, at least two programs are looking to bring in the kind of official visitors that could make that same kind of impact, and a coveted Pac-12 prospect takes a visit to the Pacific Northwest.

Notre Dame at Arizona State


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Several of the West’s top uncommitted recruits such as Christian Kirk and John Houston Jr. will be at ASU this weekend for visits that could alter the recruiting race in the Pac-12. Plus, Carlos Davis and Khalil Davis are doing everything they can to help their team advance in the Missouri state playoffs.

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Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 2, 2014
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Big home wins by Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA resonated with a number of impact visitors -- both official and unofficial -- this weekend. In fact, the Ducks and Sun Devils both added commitments shortly after, or during, their victories. Here's a look at visits and visitors to the Pac-12 through their eyes on social media.

Ducks make a statement

Oregon took control of the Pac-12 North with its big win over Stanford and gained a nice secondary prize as well, as ESPN 300 defensive end Canton Kaumatule was in attendance.
Kaumatule was so blown away by the experience on his visit that not only did the nation's No. 44 overall prospect and No. 7 defensive end commit during his visit, he also signed his early enrollment financial aid paperwork. The news was announced by football program's official twitter feed. Oregon had a second impact defensive end on campus as well for an official visit, as the No. 29 overall prospect, Keisean Lucier-South was in Eugene. While Lucier-South didn't commit and still has several visits to take, this trip to Oregon left an impression. The Ducks also had a class of 2016 visitor in attendance, in wide receiver Dillon Mitchell. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound wideout holds offers from programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ohio State and Tennessee, as well as Oregon, so getting him on campus before he announces his decision this week is big for the Ducks. Official visitor Zach Okun, an ESPN 300 guard who made an early pledge to the Ducks and plans to enroll early at Oregon, had this message for Ducks fans following his official visit this weekend. UCLA steels some attention

Wearing their LA Steel uniforms for their home game against Arizona, the Bruins had a number of high-profile visitors in attendance and didn't allow Oregon to take all the spotlight -- registering a win over an Arizona team that was ranked No. 12 entering the game.

The Bruins had several official visitors on hand, including two important wide receiver targets -- ESPN 300 prospects Ryan Newsome and Christian Kirk. The Bruins' defense picked a good time to step up in a big way, as it shut down the Wildcats' offense and did so in front of ESPN 300 defensive tackle Rasheem Green. The No. 21 overall prospect is a high priority recruit for UCLA, as well as several other Pac-12 programs. UCLA also hosted 2016 ESPN 300 cornerback Treyjohn Butler on an unofficial visit. Butler is the No. 49 overall prospect in the class and picking up some recruiting momentum, having landed an offer from Arizona State recently. ASU lands another Perry

Speaking of the Sun Devils, Arizona State's overtime win over Utah earned them control of the Pac-12 South as well as a commitment from sophomore cornerback Alex Perry, the younger brother of freshman defensive back Armand Perry. Though it came well into the night, it was celebrated by Arizona State's Assistant AD for Recruiting, Patrick Suddes.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

October, 31, 2014
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ESPN 300 prospects are set to scatter all over the Pac-12 landscape this weekend, as several conference programs are hosting very important official visit weekends. We take a look around the Pac-12 at the three biggest recruiting weekends in the conference.

Stanford at Oregon


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About this time of year coaches scour junior college ranks for offensive line talent, and thathas helped Tyler Howell become one of hottest targets around. Plus, is Clemson in danger of losing ESPN 300 commitment Juwuan Briscoe?

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