Commentary

Class of 2008 Pac-10 team recruiting needs

Originally Published: August 28, 2007
By Steve Muench | Scouts Inc.
Arizona
Cornerback
Arizona will lose one of the best cover corners in all of college football when senior Antoine Cason graduates, and it doesn't help that his counterpart Wilrey Fontenot is a senior as well. With no heir apparent at either slot, reserve Marquis Hundley a junior and just one true freshman on the roster, the future at this position is cloudy. That has to change quickly because the talent and depth of the receiving corps in this conference demands having quality secondary play.
Outside Linebacker
Starters Spencer Larson and Dane Krogstad are both seniors and reserve James Alford is a junior. Alford is capable of moving into one starting slot and sophomore Xavier Kelley appears to have a bright future. However, the Wildcats will still be thin here despite signing true freshman Apaiata Tuihalamaka (Gardena, Calif.). Kelley has been a valuable special teams' contributor so finding a linebacker that can provide depth on defense and help out on the cover teams so Kelley stays fresh would be ideal.
Quarterback
Red-shirt freshman Tyler Lyon is expected to take the reigns of the offense when junior Willie Tuitama's days some to an end. However, the Wildcats need to improve their depth and add a player that can either take over if Lyon struggles or when his tenure with Arizona comes to end. True freshman Bryson Beirne out of Honolulu could very well be that player, but again, insurance is needed. Knowing that and the fact that Kris Heavner is a senior, adding another quarterback makes sense.

Arizona State
Tight End
The turnover at tight end over the next two seasons is going to be substantial because Brent Miller and Brady Conrad are seniors and Dane Guthrie and Andrew Pettes are both juniors. So even though Arizona State added true freshman Dan Knapp out of Reno, Nev., to the roster, more work needs to be done here. It's also worth noting that the Sun Devils prefer tight ends that are athletic and versatile enough to line up in the backfield in certain situations.
Offensive Tackle
Zach Krula, who is the starter on the right side, and his backup Julius Orieukwu are both seniors. There are high hopes for massive sophomore Richard Tuitu'u, whose size and power makes him a perfect fit on the right side. However, there are also concerns about his ability to hold up in pass protection, so adding a tackle that has the talent to immediately bolster depth and eventually compete for the starting job is the logical move.
Running Back
Among the top five are two seniors, including starter Ryan Torain, and two juniors. And JUCO transfer Jarrell Woods is the only new addition to the roster, and he is a red-shirt sophomore with just two years of eligibility left. With depth quickly becoming an issue, Arizona State needs to add a back to spell sophomore Dimitri Nance and eventually emerge as the primary ball carrier.
Steve Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college players for Scouts Inc., but his current focus is on the NFL draft.

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