Don Hansen

2014 Look Ahead: The Secondary


As we get closer to the end of the season, Signing Day 2014 is less than two months away. The ASU Devils Den will be closely examining each position group moving forward. The 2013 Sun Devil defense was led by a lot of upperclassmen, so we will examine the defensive side of the ball first. Our previous blogs included defensive line and linebackers.

Similar to the defensive line and linebackers, Todd Graham and Chris Ball will be looking for new starters in the secondary as the Sun Devils lose three of their four starters. This group came into the 2013 season as a question mark as to who would fill the boundary corner and boundary safety position. After the first month of the season, this group solidified and stood out. That Sun Devil starting secondary accounted for 16 interceptions in 2013 with each member returning an interception for a defensive touchdown. While the linebackers have young players in the program who are ready to work into a starting role, the secondary will be looking to the upcoming class of 2014 to help solidify its depth.

Cornerbacks Leaving

  • Osahon Irabor                                   Starter  (2nd Team All Pac-12 Team)
  • Robert Nelson                                   Starter  (1st Team All Pac-12 Team)

Cornerbacks Returning

  • Lloyd Carrington
  • Rashad Wadood
  • Soloman Means
  • Will Earley
  • 2014 Verbal Commitments
    • Chad Adams
    • DeAndre Scott
    • Possible Uncommitted Class of 2014 Targets
      • Kweishi Brown, JC

Lloyd Carrington, the Pittsburgh transfer, was the Sun Devils nickel cornerback in 2013 who saw significant playing time. At Washington State, Carrington had 8 tackles while playing many first and second downs due to Cougars Air Raid four wide receiver sets. Carrington seems to have one starting cornerback position heading into 2014. The other starting spot will be battle between talented Rashad Wadood and 2013 signee out of junior college Soloman Means. Wadood, who played in ten games as a true freshman in 2011 but sat out the 2012 season due to a separated shoulder injury, is a tremendous athlete who had a strong spring practice in 2013. Means and redshirt freshman Will Earley have nice size for a corner, and they are wo

An experienced junior college player like Kweishi Brown could become a major target of the coaching staff in recruiting as six corners is not enough for a Division 1 football roster. The two current verbal commits, Chad Adams, Allen High School (TX), and DeAndre Scott, Imhotep High School (PA) have a lot of similarities. Both are leaders of their high school teams who went deep into the state playoffs. While their high schools used them as ball-hawking, big hitting safeties, Adams and Scott project as physical college corners who can provide great run support. They are not afraid to tackle and play bigger than their body as Adams is 5’10” and Scott is 5’8”. While this could be a problem with the taller wide receivers in the Pac-12, they are terrific athletes who can make up for height issues. Scott returned kicks for his school.

Safeties Leaving

  • Alden Darby                                       Starter  (1st Team All Pac-12 Team)
  • Shane McCullen

Safeties Returning

  • Damarious Randall                           Starter
  • Ezekiel Bishop
  • Laiu Moeakiola
  • Marcus Ball
  • James Johnson
  • Jamie Otomewo
  • Luke Williams
  • 2014 Verbal Commitments
    • Jordan Thomas
    • Das Tautalatasi
    • Armand Perry
    • Coltin Gerhart
    • Possible Uncommitted Class of 2014 Targets
      • None

The loss of Alden Darby is huge. Darby was the leader, but certainly, he has made a significant influence on  fellow starter Randall and youngsters like Bell and Johnson. Randall returns in 2014, and he will definitely have a starting spot. The other starting spot could go to several people. Marcus Ball was named field safety starter during preseason practices by Head Coach Todd Graham, but Ball injured his shoulder at Camp T and redshirted. Johnson redshirted in 2013, but he was able to run with the 2s for several practices as he made an impression on the coaching staff. Moeakiola ended up the starter in 2013 at field safety, but he lost that spot to Randall. Then he moved to spur before suffering an injury. One of Ball or Moeakiola could transition to the spur linebacker position full-time if Johnson and Bishop solidify their on the field performance.

The 2014 class is full of safety prospects. Gerhart, younger brother of Stanford’s Toby and Arizona State’s Garth, is a converted quarterback who feels the only way to make it to the NFL is as a safety. Tautalatasi and Perry are candidates for a redshirt year of development, but they are smart players from powerful high school programs along the West Coast. Jordan Thomas flew under the radar in Northern California, but his highlight videos show a ton of potential as a bandit safety. There are some higher profile safety targets in the 2014 class still available, but it looks like the Sun Devils are full for now.

Disclaimer: The numbers for each position are not official. These are based on research and numbers can change based on multiple factors from now until Signing Day for a variety of reasons.

About Don Hansen

Don Hansen

Don is a 2003 graduate of Arizona State University where he spent four years sitting in the front rows of many ASU athletic events leading the rowdy student section. Now, Don co-hosts the "ASU Devils Den" podcast covering every detail of ASU football. Don works and resides in Gilbert, Arizona with his beautiful Sun Devil wife and their two beautiful daughters!

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