Rob Malara

Commitments Keep Coming as Devils Look to Close Out Strong


Evan Fields gave an instant shot in the arm to Todd Graham’s sixth recruiting class as head coach of Arizona State on Monday morning. The three-star safety prospect out of Oklahoma became the sixteenth player to commit to the 2017 class helping gain the Sun Devils some momentum heading into Wednesday’s National Signing Day.

Outside of last season’s 30th-ranked class according to, Graham has fared well in the days and hours leading up to announcing the final commitments of each class. Current Sun Devil standouts like Kalen Ballage, Joseph Wicker, Jay Jay Wilson, Kareem Orr, and Cameron Smith all were commitments who made their decision on Signing Day, so there is hope that this current class will grow from its current size with less than two days to go.

Graham just closed out his most productive January on the recruiting scene since 2013. Over this period he secured the likes of Fields and local prep stars K.J. Jarrell and Brandon Ruiz, not to mention Eno Benjamin who could take the torch from Ballage and Demario Richard as the next impact running back in Tempe, and who presently rates as the best player of the current class.

For the last two months it’s been about quality over quantity with the Devils picking up a solid batch of impact commits.  But there still are still both long-term and short-term holes to be filled at positions like corner, offensive tackle, and inside linebacker.  And at the moment, those players don’t seem to be out in the open dropping into Graham’s lap come Wednesday.  Do either of his new coordinators in Billy Napier or Phil Bennett have a trick or two up their sleeve after being on campus for a short duration of time?  Is there a player to sway that they developed history with in previous stops at Alabama and Baylor?

While most of the players in this year’s class won’t make an impact on the field for a few more years, an addition of two or three players still waiting to announce their commitment at these positions of need could go a long way heading into the fall.

About Rob Malara

Rob Malara

Rob Malara is a 2002 Sun Devil grad having spent the majority of his time in Tempe as a football, basketball, and baseball season ticket holder and front row inhabitant. A member of the Football Writers Association of America, he hosted the ASU Devils podcast and was its sub-optimal technical producer through its lifespan. Currently the president of the ASU Alumni Association's Northern Colorado Club, he is part of a family of maroon and gold residing in Fort Collins with his Sun Devil wife and nearby Sun Devil sister.

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