Arizona State Football had a tough day on Wednesday.
Coach Todd Graham had his sights set on two phenomenal defensive backs, two men that he felt he had a good shot to sign. Unfortunately, both Tahaan Goodman and Priest Willis committed to UCLA.
Goodman, a four-star recruit by Scout.com played high school ball at Rancho Cucamonga High School, an hour west of UCLA.
Goodman played at the same high school as twins Viliami and A.J. Latu, who both committed to Arizona State back in October. Apparently, that wasn’t enough for Goodman to leave Los Angeles.
It seemed that as anxious as Goodman was to stay home, Tempe native Priest Willis couldn’t wait to leave his hometown. The top-ranked recruit in Arizona once again left the state to play elsewhere.
The five-star Willis announced Wednesday night in front of hundreds gathered at his high school gym and more watching an online stream that he was committing to UCLA.
While this one-two punch was tough for a blossoming Arizona State football program, there are still plenty of attractive players on the wish list for the Sun Devils.
- Position: Wide Receiver
- Size: 6’1″, 190 pounds
- Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.
- Rivals.com Rank: 4-star, No. 36 WR in nation
- Scout.com Rank: 5-star, No. 16 WR in nation
A super quick receiver with great hands from exclusive Brophy College Prep in downtown Phoenix. He is also a state champion track star in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles.
Allen is widely sought after for his speed and ability to leap over corners and safeties that are looking to go low on him. He has received numerous offers, but Allen has only made visits to Oregon, Stanford and UCLA.
Allen has an official visit scheduled with Arkansas on Feb. 1st to meet with football coach Bret Bielema and track coach Chris Bucknam.
- Position: Corner Back
- Size: 6’1″, 175 pounds
- Hometown: Fresno, Calif.
- Rivals.com Rank: 4-star, No. 17 CB in nation
- Scout.com Rank: 4-star, No. 24 CB in nation
Fresh off his visit last weekend to Arizona State, L.J. Moore would be a nice addition to the secondary now that Willis and Goodman are going to be in Westwood.
The Fresno native still has an official visit planned to Cal this weekend, but it is believed that Moore has narrowed his choices to Oregon State and Arizona State.
- Position: Running Back
- Size: 6’0″, 215 pounds
- Hometown: Katy, Texas
- Rivals.com Rank: 3-star, No. 97 RB in nation
- Scout.com Rank: 3-star, No. 43 RB in nation
The former Notre Dame commit from Cinco Ranch HS in Katy, Texas is a big bruising running back that will fit in wonderfully well in the Sun Devil backfield with fellow Houstoner Marion Grice and also D.J. Foster.
His 4.45-second time in the 40-yard dash is incredible due to his size. Since decommitting from Notre Dame, James has received several offers but has only made one visit—to Tempe and the Sun Devils.
Fellow Pac-12 schools USC and Washington are pushing for him as well as national powerhouses FSU, LSU and Arkansas.
- Position: Athlete
- Size: 6’3″, 205 pounds
- Hometown: Westerville, Ohio
- Rivals.com Rank: 3-star, No. 24 ATH in nation
- Scout.com Rank: 3-star, No. 47 ATH in nation
The brother of Wisconsin’s Montee Ball gave a soft verbal commitment to Bret Bielema and the Badgers in mid-November. Since then, Bielema left Wisconsin and Ball has visited Michigan, Michigan State and most recently Arizona State.
- Position: Corner Back
- Size: 6’1″, 185 pounds
- Hometown: Mesa, Ariz.
- Rivals.com Rank: 3-star
- Scout.com Rank: 2-star
Although not as vaunted as 5-star DB Priest Willis, Damarious Randall has a year of experience at the junior college level and performed extremely well.
A short trip from Tempe and Arizona State is Mesa Community College where Randall put on a display of explosiveness in the secondary. Randall was a first team NJCAA All-American and Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
He also excelled in punt returns averaging 19.5 yards per return and garnered two first team selections for his role as a defensive back and returner.
It would be great to see Randall and Moore to commit together like Goodman and Willis. Randall and Moore had a conversation via Twitter on Tuesday and on Wednesday, he stated that he had made his decision.
I have said it time and again, but it still rings true. There is a new attitude of discipline, honor and accountability in Tempe and things are looking up. But, Rome wasn’t built overnight.
UCLA has won the Pac-12 South the past two years in a row and it is truly a magnificent school. What the Devils need to do is start off strong and continually build towards greatness and the recruits will come, or stay, for that matter.
Here is the list of the top 10 commits with Scout.com Rankings:
- 4-star Linebacker Chans Cox
- 6’3″, 230, No. 1 in position
- 4-star Quarterback Joshua Dobbs
- 6’3″, 190, No. 12 in position
- 3-star Linebacker Viliami Latu
- 6’2″, 230, No. 18 in position (4-star on Rivals.com)
- 3-star Defensive End Marcus Hardison
- 6’4″, 290, No. 14 in JuCo Rankings (4-star on Rivals.com)
- 3-star Linebacker Antonio Longino
- 6’3″, 230, No. 32 in JuCo Rankings
- 3-star Wide Receiver Jaelen Strong
- 6’4″, 205, No. 49 in JuCo Rankings
- 3-star Cornerback William Earley
- 6’2″, 190, No. 37 in position
- 3-star Tight End Grant Martinez
- 6’5″, 210, No. 48 in position
- 3-star Safety Jayme Otomewo
- 6’2″, 190, No. 51 in position
- 3-star Receiver Ellis Jefferson
- 6’4″, 200, No. 82 in position
The total for Graham and the Sun Devils is up to 24 recruits with a total of two four-star and 16 three-star recruits. Hopefully, we can add some more to the four-star column come National Signing Day.