Don Hansen

Flashback: 2011 Signing Day

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The Arizona State Sun Devil football recruiting class signed in February 2011 was the beginning of the end for former head coach Dennis Erickson.

Erickson signed a small class of 20 players to join the football program, but it was a weird year in that fourteen players were announced on Signing Day and six players signed in the weeks after Signing Day. With those 14 recruits announced on Signing Day, the 2011 Signing Day class received a low grade from recruiting services. Scout.com ranked it 64th overall and 11th best in the conference, while Rivals ranked ASU 58th overall and 10th best in conference.   These are just immediate Signing Day rankings and a true class can only be measured after their time in Tempe, but seven of these 20 signees will make absolutely no contributions to the Sun Devil football program.

At the time, this small 2011 class had some huge prospect misses in the eyes of Sun Devil nation. Erickson continued to miss out on local star prospects as Cyrus Hobbi signed with USC, Todd Peat Jr signed with Nebraska, and Ka’Deem Carey chose Arizona and Mike Stoops over the Sun Devils.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the 2011 Signing Day Class:

Current Sun Devils

Vi Teofilo

  • The state champion high school heavyweight wrestler was only a two-star offensive line prospect when he signed out of Moon Valley High School in Phoenix and Teofilo red-shirted in 2011. Teofilo started and played every game at right offensive guard in 2013 as a redshirt sophomore after backing up Andrew Sampson in 2012. Teofilo has spectacular size and athleticism, often leading a running back to the end zone on a pull in the red zone. Teofilo should continue to start on the offensive line in 2014.

Mo Latu

  • The mammoth Mo Latu redshirted in 2011, but in practice, Latu was playing hard as a defensive tackle against the starting Sun Devil offensive line. With the coaching staff change in 2012, Latu moved to offensive line as the back-up center and guard where he played sparingly. With the 2013 signing of junior college center Nick Kelly and the lack of depth on the defensive line, the coaching staff moved Latu back to defense at the end of spring practice in 2013. Sadly, Latu suffered a knee injury in 2013 which hurt his mobility. Along with his weight issue (Latu is listed at 380 lbs), Latu was limited in 2013. During the first match-up with Stanford in Palo Alto, Latu came in for some snaps and dominated the line of scrimmage. Latu has the size to be a unique star at the true nose tackle position. Latu has quickness, but he needs to get the knee healed and the weight cut. This will be a huge off-season for Latu as Arizona State loses its entire starting defensive line, Will Sutton, Davon Coleman, and Gannon Conway heading into 2014.

Michael Bercovici

  • Bercovici, who graduated high school early and enrolled into Arizona State for spring 2011 classes, is currently the back-up quarterback. Recruited to Tempe by former offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, Bercovici was the back-up to Brock Osweiler in 2011. Bercovici redshirted in 2012 before winning the back-up sport behind Taylor Kelly in 2013. Bercovici has a big arm, and he has worked on his red-option ability showing some quickness in practices. Heading into 2014, Bercovici will continue to push Taylor Kelly at the quarterback spot while waiting for his turn in 2015.

Ezekial Bishop

  • Bishop, a three-star safety prospect from Denver, Colorado flipped his commitment to Arizona State from the University of Arizona in late January 2011. Erickson intended to play Bishop as a true freshman, but Bishop tore his ACL on kickoff coverage during the opening game against UC-Davis, so Bishop received a redshirt instead in 2011. In 2012 and 2013, Bishop played as a backup safety and special teamer. With three-quarters of the starting secondary leaving for the 2014 season, this is a make-or-break year for Bishop.

Devin Goodman

  • Devin Goodman, the twin brother of Sun Devil offensive tackle Evan Goodman, was recruited by Bryce Erickson from Lakeland, Florida. Goodman redshirted in 2011 and served as a second team offensive guard in 2012 and 2013. With two spots opening up in the 2014 offensive line, Goodman will battle to occupy one.

Rashad Wadood

  • Wadood was Dennis Erickson’s first commitment in this class. As a true freshman, Wadood played some cornerback and some special teams. During spring practice of 2012, Wadood separated his shoulder and missed the season. In 2013, Wadood was a second team cornerback behind All Pac-12 players Osahon Irabor and Robert Nelson. Wadood is expected to open 2014 spring practice as one of the starting cornerbacks.

Sean O’Grady

  • O’Grady, a high school teammate of Evan Finkenberg and Sil Ajawara, signed with the Sun Devils out of Tesoro High School in California. O’Grady redshirted in 2011, and he did not see the field as a back-up defensive lineman in 2012. Last season, O’Grady finally saw the field with the second team defensive line and got his first two tackles. This is a big off-season for O’Grady, a sink or swim year as new talent in entering the program and the entire defensive line will be filled with new starters in 2014.

Gary Chambers

  • Chambers is tall, big body, athletic wide receiver who signed with Arizona State out of Ironwood High School in Glendale, Arizona. Chambers redshirted in 2011 and played on special teams in 2012 and 2013. Similar to other high school signees in the 2011 Signing Day class, this off-season is huge for Chambers has the current coaching staff has brought in many wide receivers and Chambers could get lost in the depth chart.

Eligibility Used

Josh Hubner

  • Hubner, a physical specimen at 6’4” and 230 lbs, was a special teams star for the Sun Devils for two seasons after signing out of Scottsdale Community College. Hubner ended his Sun Devil career as a second team All Pac-12 Punter in 2012 with a 47.2 yards per punt average in 2012.

Rashad Ross

  • The speedy wide receiver and kick returner Ross joined the Class of 2011 several weeks after Signing Day from Butte Junior College in California. Ross spent two seasons with the Sun Devils. As a senior, Ross was the number one wide receiver for Taylor Kelly catching 37 balls for 610 yards and six touchdowns. Ross used his speed to get a kick-off return touchdown each season in the maroon and gold. While Ross did not get drafted, Ross used that speed to catch on with the practice squads of the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013.

Davon Coleman

  • Coleman,  who played at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas, was the last player to the join the 2011 class. Dennis and Bryce Erickson were able to sign Coleman before the larger programs in the Big-10 and SEC knew he was eligible. Coleman signed with the Sun Devils as a unique three years to play three (no red shirt) prospect. Coleman played 39 games for the Sun Devils and his on-the-field results improved every year, especially in his last two years under Graham and Randolph. Coleman played stronger and with more discipline while his sack totals went from 2.5 in 2011, to 5.0 in 2012, and 8.5, tied for the team lead, last season.

Kevin Ayers

  • Ayers signed two weeks after Signing Day with Arizona State out of Mount San Antonio Junior College. Ayers, a safety, played 25 games for the Sun Devils in two seasons, mostly on special teams. Ayers will be remembered for his two blocked punts in the 2012 season against Oregon State and Arizona.

Kipeli Koniseti

  • Koniseti signed with Arizona State out of the College of Sequoias in 2011 as another rare three years to play three seasons transfer. Koniseti originally signed with Erickson and Arizona State out of high school in 2009, but he did not qualify. Erickson always saw Koniseti as a middle linebacker even though he played quarterback in high school and junior college. In 2011, Koniseti was stuck behind Vontaze Burfict at middle linebacker while in 2012, Koniseti moved to the devil-linebacker spot and played behind Carl Bradford. Therefore, during his three seasons Koniseti played in all phases of special teams recording a handful of tackles each season.

Not with the Arizona State Program

Michael Eubank

  • After red-shirting in 2011 under Erickson, Eubank got a fresh start with Graham and offensive coordinator Mike Norvell. Entering the 2012 season, Eubank was the favorite to fit the new Sun Devil offensive scheme. However, Eubank was beaten out by Taylor Kelly. However, Eubank did receive a very special package of plays to execute when called upon. Eubank is a tremendous physical athlete who can run the read-option, but he struggles in going through the progression often resulting in telegraphing his throws. After the 2013 season prior to the Holiday Bowl, Eubank announced his intention to transfer from ASU, and he is enrolling into Samford University for the 2014 season.

Brent Walker

  • Walker, an offensive lineman from the Norco, California, did not academically qualify for Arizona State University. Walker plays two seasons at Arizona Western Junior College, but he did not join a Division 1 program after his time there.

Israel Marshall

  • Marshall, a promising linebacker prospect from Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, retired from football due to medical issues with his back.

David Moala

  • Moala a 6’1”, 280 pound, three star, defensive tackle prospect with speed from Gardena, California had a lot of potential. Moala, redshirted in 2011, but before he got a chance to play for Graham, Moala was dismissed from the Arizona State football program for a violation of team standards. Moala caught on at Cerritos Community College for the past two seasons, and he could end up signing with Iowa State or Oregon State on Signing Day this year for his final two years of eligibility.

Joe Eason

  • Eason, a cornerback and late signee member of the Class of 2011, was recruited by Bryce Erickson out of Pahokee, Florida. Eason took a redshirt in 2011, and played for the Sun Devils in 2012 under Graham. Eason was buried down the depth chart in the secondary and left the program following the 2012 season.

Stanley Absanon

  • Absanon, a wide receiver prospect and late Class of 2011 signee, was recruiting to Arizona State by Bryce Erickson out of Lakeland, Florida. He was supposed to be a grayshirt and enroll into Arizona State in January 2012, but with the coaching change, Absanon ended up at Eastern Kentucky University.

Karl Holmes

  • Holmes, a wide receiver prospect and late Class of 2011 signee, was recruited to Arizona State by Dennis Erickson out of Pasadena (Calif.) Muir High School. Holmes redshirted in 2011 and stayed with the program in 2012. Holmes did not get a snap in 2012, and after the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl received his release from the program. Holmes is currently playing wide receiver at Mt. St. Antonio Community College in California and hoping to sign with a Division 1 program on Signing Day this year.

As of today, the Signing Day class of 2011 has produced one starter from the high school signees (Teofilo). The punter signed in this class, Josh Hubner, has had the most on-the-field impact of any player other than Teofilo. Furthermore, the massive departure of players from this class has hurt the Sun Devils overall team depth. Overall, for being known as a player’s coach and great recruiter, this final class signed by Dennis Erickson has not done a lot on the field for the Sun Devils.

Last year we did two “Flashback” articles for the 2009 and 2010 classes. Do you have anything to add about the 2011 Signing Day class? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or by e-mail and you could make it on the next ASU Devils Den Football Podcast.

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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