Gary Doran

Visiting Tempe

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A good way to analyze how Coach Todd Graham is doing with overall recruiting is to analyze the type of “official” visitors he’s bringing into Tempe. That’s because a recruit may say he is interested in ASU, or that he has an offer from ASU, but until an “official” visit is extended and accepted, it is hard to tell if the interest or the scholarship offer is sincere. For that reason, this article looked only at the high school recruits that took an official visit to ASU over the past three recruiting cycles, (2013, 2014 & 2015). The analysis looked at high school recruits only, because they are the true backbone of any team.

All the recruiting information for the article was gathered from rivals.com recruiting database at its website.

  • Over the past three recruiting cycles, ASU has averaged signing one out every two official visitors
  • Over the past two recruiting cycles, the success rate of signing visitors has doubled from 2013
  • The average star rating of the recruits visiting ASU took a big jump this past recruiting year of almost a half a star
  • This past recruiting year, ASU averaged bringing in roughly three 4-Star recruits for every two 3-Star recruits
  • This past recruiting year, there was almost a full star rating decrease between those visitors signing with another team and those signing with ASU

Since ASU is trying to attract and sign more elite recruits, here is a comparison of how ASU did with its visitors compared to the visitors to USC and UCLA.

  • Over the past two recruiting cycles, ASU has signed 63% of its visitors, while USC signed 75% and UCLA only signed 51%
  • In the three recruiting years, USC signed one of UCLA’s visitors, while UCLA didn’t sign any USC visitors, ASU signed two UCLA visitors and no USC visitors. UCLA signed six ASU visitors, while USC signed five that visited Tempe
  • The average star rating of the six ASU visitors that signed with UCLA was 3.83 and the five that signed with USC was 4.60. The two UCLA visitors that signed with ASU averaged 4.00 star rating
  • USC averaged just over a 4.00 star rating of all the recruits visiting the Trojans over the past three years, and was able to get nearly 70% of all the visiting recruits to sign with them

  • Approximately one out of every ten visitors to ASU ended up signing with an SEC team
  • Almost one out of every four visitors to ASU ended up signing with another Pac-12 team
  • Just over 20% of the visitors to ASU signed with a team outside the Pac-12 Conference
  • About 5% of all the visitors to ASU never signed with a Power Five team
  • Better than one in every ten visitors to ASU signed with an LA Power Five school
  • There were 23 different teams that signed recruits that visited ASU, but didn’t sign with ASU

  • Almost four out of every ten visiting recruits have come from California
  • Approximately 50% of all the recruits visiting ASU came from either Arizona or California
  • ASU’s success rate in signing recruits visiting from California is almost equal to those visiting from in-state Arizona
  • ASU’s success rate in signing recruits visiting from the seven western region states was 57%, while it was only 45% for those outside the western region states
  • ASU has not signed a visiting recruit from the state of Washington or Utah in three years
  • ASU has not attracted a large number of highly rated recruits from either Texas or Louisiana in the past three years
  • ASU’s success rate in signing visiting recruits from Texas has not been very high over the past three years, whereas signing the recruits from Louisiana have been very successful

  • Over 20% of the visitors signed by ASU were rated as four-star recruits by Rivals
  • Roughly three out of four visitors that signed with ASU were rated as three-star recruits by Rivals

  • About two out of three of all the visitors to Tempe came after the seasons ended
  • 75% of all the visitors that ended up signing with ASU had visited after the season ended
  • ASU brought about 1/3rd of all their visitors into Tempe during the season, while UCLA brought in over 40% of all their visitors in during the season
  • Recruits visiting ASU during the season ended up signing with the Devils less than 40% of the time, whereas those visiting at other times signed at a 20+% higher rate

  • About 60% of the wide receiver recruits that visited ASU did not end up signing with the Devils
  • The wide receiver visitor group had the highest star rating of any other position group by a significant margin
  • More than 70% of the defensive tackles that visited ASU ended up signing with the Devils
  • Roughly two out of every three defensive end recruits that visited ASU end up signing with another team
  • Over 1/3rd of all the visitors signing with ASU was either a defensive back or a linebacker
  • The visiting linebackers position group had the highest star rating of any defensive position
  • There was a definite difference in the number of defensive position recruits vs. offensive position recruits that visited ASU

Summary

This past recruiting year, ASU improved the level of recruits visiting its campus significantly, however, way too many of those higher rated recruits ended up signing with other teams, more specifically Pac-12 rivals; USC and UCLA. Also ASU faced some pretty stiff competition, not only from other conference teams, but several heavy hitters from outside the region.

The state of California is ASU’s prime recruiting region, where the majority of its visitors hail from, which includes a large number of higher rated recruits. On the other hand, ASU is beginning to see recruits from Texas and Louisiana visit its campus, however, there just hasn’t been a lot of highly rated recruits from those state yet.

California is also where two of the Sun Devil’s main rivals within its own division reside; USC and UCLA. In other words, ASU’s most fertile recruiting hotspot is also where two very elite recruiting programs are located.

Most visits to the ASU campus happen after the season’s end, where roughly two out of every three visits happen then. Weather may play a part in the large number of visitors to ASU coming after season’s end, compared to rival UCLA, which brought in eight percent more recruits during the season than the Devils. Also, there is a higher success rate with recruits that visit after season’s end. A big reason for that may be that many recruits that have already verbally committed wait until season’s end before visiting.

To date, ASU has had a harder time convincing visiting wide receiver recruits and defensive end visiting recruits to sign with the Devils. On the other hand, they have had pretty good success at convincing defensive tackles to sign with them. This is very good news, because not long ago, this was a position where ASU had significant trouble attracting interest from the high school ranks.

Based on the analysis of the visitors to ASU over the past three years, things seem to really be picking up, especially in the last two years. There are still areas needing improvement, but the trajectory is definitely upward. The important issue for the Devils going forward will be winning more of the recruiting battles against California-based USC and UCLA for the higher rated California recruits. The Devils also need to begin attracting the interest of higher rated recruits from both Texas and Louisiana.  They should also hope to do a little better in certain states within the Pac-12 conference. These are state where ASU may be known, but may not be highly regarded.  It seems that winning may help cure some of these issues.

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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