Gary Doran

A History of Graham’s Success with Official Visits in Tempe


Now that the recruiting cycle for 2016 has pretty much come and gone, the ASU Devils Den thought it would be interesting to analyze ASU’s recruiting efforts during Todd Graham’s first five recruiting cycles. Because it’s so important to get the recruit you want to take an official visit, we decided to look at which recruits actually took an official visit to ASU, and more importantly, which of those official visitors actually ended up signing with ASU. We looked at both high school and junior college recruits being pursued by ASU.

To get as accurate a picture as possible, we utilized the databases from both Scout and Rivals to capture official visit totals at ASU during the time period of January 2012 through January 2016. Based on both sites, there was a total of 199 recruits that took an official visit to Tempe, with 23 coming in his only month of the 2012 recruiting cycle, 56 during the 2013 recruiting cycle, 41 in both the 2014 and 2015 cycles and 38 this past 2016 recruiting cycle.

In looking at the success rate by year, it’s important to consider that each recruiting cycle has different dynamics contributing to the success in getting recruits to visit, and then to commit. Although it’s the same location and program, many factors change from year to year such as the performance on the field, any upgrades or planned upgrades to the facilities, staff turnover, recruiting competition and the changing tastes of the recruits.

Year-By-Year Official Visitor Signing Success




– ASU was the only official visit for nearly one-third of all the official visitors brought in during Todd Graham’s tenure (63/199).
– Over the course of the past five cycles, roughly half of all the recruits taking an official visit to ASU ended up signing with the Devils.
– ASU did best against its competition in signing official visitors in 2014, which also happened to be the same year when ASU visitors took the fewest average number of visits to other schools.
– Nearly half the visitors ASU brought in during the 2014 recruiting cycle only took an official visit to the Devils.
– ASU has experienced about a 15% increase in the star rating of its visitors during the last five recruiting cycles.
– If an official visitor to ASU another official visit during this period, about two-thirds of those visits were to schools outside the Pac-12 Conference.



– About 10% of the recruits that only visited ASU either signed with another school or never did sign with a college team.
– Roughly two out of every three of the recruits that took an official visit to ASU and also to another school or schools, ended up signing with one of the other schools.
– About one-third of all the official visitors during Graham’s tenure ended up only visiting ASU.
– On average, ASU lost out signing a recruit four out of five times if the recruit also took official visits to more than two other schools.
– Only about 40% of all the ASU visitors ended up visiting more than one other school.


– The success of signing an ASU official visitor was pretty much the same for an offensive or a defensive recruit.
– The Devils were roughly twice as successful at signing defensive tackles as defensive ends.
– ASU’s  lowest success rate was signing official visitors that played offensive line.
– Roughly 60% of all the official visitors that played an offensive position was either a linemen or a wide receiver.
– ASU is having a hard time closing the deal with quality defensive back, as there is a big gap between the visitors signing with ASU and those going to another school. The same holds true with tight ends; just fewer of them.
– The offensive linemen visiting ASU were not only the lowest rated position group based on their Rival ratings, but this group also had the highest percentage of visitors sign with another school.


– One out of every four official visitors to Tempe have been a junior college recruit.
– ASU signed roughly two out of every three junior college official visitors, whereas the Devils signed less than half of its high school official visitors.


– Two out of every three official visitors came from California, Texas and Arizona.
– The success rate at signing official visitors from Louisiana is almost as high as it is from signing official visitors from the state of California.
– ASU signed roughly two out of every three official visitors from Arizona, and roughly half the visitors from California and Texas combined.
– About half of all the official visitors that ended up signing with ASU were from the state of California, while Texas contributed only 15% of the signees.


– Approximately one-third of all the official visitors brought in during this time period have been either a four or a five-star recruit.
– To date, about two out of every three of the four or five-star rated visitors to ASU ends up signing with another school.
– Based on the official visitors to date, Graham is about twice as likely to sign a three-star official visitor as a four or five-star recruit official visitor.

What the Numbers Mean

There is no doubt that Graham has increased both the quality of the recruits that have taken an official visit to ASU, and the amount of visitors that ended up signing with the Devils. The downside to the elevation in the quality of visiting recruits is the increase in quality competition for those higher level recruits. A telling factor in the increased competition has been that about twenty-percent of the visits to other schools in the last two years were to tradition-rich SEC schools; that’s on top of the already thick competition here the the conference from USC, UCLA and Stanford. As the quality keeps increasing, so will the competition.

The analysis shows that ASU doesn’t seem to be having trouble getting quality defensive back or wide receivers to take an official visit to Tempe, however, Graham has struggled to get these higher quality recruits to sign with the Devils.  On the other hand, although the staff has attracted a lot of offensive linemen to the campus for a visit, fewer of them are high quality recruits, and yet even with the sparseness of higher quality offensive linemen, the Devils are having the most trouble signing this group of recruits.

As a note, our analysis only looked at how the Devils have done under Graham in terms of getting official visitors and signing those official visitors.  It did not compare the ASU results with any other program, so it might be an interesting project to compare ASU’s last two or three recruiting cycles where the Devils experienced an improved quality in their visitors, with other programs at different levels of success to see where ASU’s efforts rank.   We all get excited in signing a visitor, or disappointed when a visitor ends up signing with another school.  But we aren’t sure the degree that happens at other programs. Might be good to see how often this happens in other programs as well.

About Gary Doran

Gary Doran

Gary graduated from ASU many years ago. After careers working in banking, finance and the financial administration of academic research funding, he is now interested in utilizing his passion for numbers towards two things he thoroughly loves; Arizona State University and college football. He is looking forward to finding the “stories” buried within the numbers on a football stat sheet. He has gone to ASU football games all the way back to the days of Frank Kush and the WAC. He has been married to an amazing ASU graduate for almost forty years, and they currently live in Ventura, CA. Although this may disqualify him from talking football, he and his wife enjoy the practice of yoga and dancing the Argentine Tango. Ole!

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