(Photo: Brett Deckert/WCSN)
The journey to the 2017 season for Arizona State football made a major detour Wednesday with the arrival of 18 new players on National Signing Day.
Head coach Todd Graham and his staff added to already-crowded position groups, and gained key commitments for areas of need. Comprised of 16 freshmen, a redshirt sophomore and a junior, this class will be a key factor in the Sun Devils improving on a 5-7 record this past season.
Blake Barnett, QB, 6’5” 200, RS Sophomore, Corona, Calif., (Alabama)
Barnett may be the most interesting player in the class for ASU. After announcing his decision to transfer to Tempe in early December and being ruled eligible to play immediately by the NCAA, the quarterback competition gets a lot more crowded for the Sun Devils. Barnett brings excellent size and a reputation, being ranked the number one pocket passer in the class of 2015.
Eno Benjamin, RB, 5’10”, 205, Freshman, Wylie, TX, (Wylie East HS)
Ranked as the 9th best high school player in the state by the Dallas Morning News Sports Day, Benjamin joins a backfield with the likes of seniors-to-be Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard. In a perfect world for Graham, Benjamin’s services would not be required in 2017 as he prepares to take the reigns in his sophomore season. Benjamin rushed for 7,546 yards and 111 touchdowns in high school, including 2,604 yards and 32 scores as a senior alone.
Alex Perry, DB, 5’11”, 178, Freshman, Las Vegas, NV, (Bishop Gorman HS)
The younger brother of current Sun Devil corner Armand Perry, Alex has the potential to step into a depleted secondary immediately once he steps on campus. His athleticism, coverage ability, and versatility to play both corner and safety could be invaluable to first-year defensive coordinator Phil Bennett.
Ryan Kelley, QB, 6’4”, 190, Freshman, Chandler, AZ, (Basha HS)
The crown jewel of the nine in-state recruits committing to the Maroon and Gold, Scout.com ranks Kelley as the No. 1 quarterback recruit in Arizona. A three-year varsity starter, Kelley tallied 8,356 yards and 71 touchdowns at Basha. Graham believes that Kelley “… has tremendous talent and a great fit for our system.”
Dougladson Subtyl, DE, 6’4”, 245, Redshirt Junior, Bunnell, FL, (Victor Valley College)
Subtyl joins a defensive line that features the likes of JoJo Wicker and Tashon Smallwood, and will look to do his part in 2017. Totaled 22.5 tackles for loss and 18 sacks in 11 games in 2015.
Brandon Ruiz, PK, 5’10”. 165, Freshman, Gilbert, AZ, (William Field HS)
Seen as the replacement to Lou Groza Award winner Zane Gonzalez, Ruiz could not be coming at a better time for Arizona State. He was voted a 2016 All-American by MaxPreps, converted on 29-37 of his field goal attempts with a long of 58 over his junior and senior seasons, and recorded touchbacks on almost 85 percent of his kickoffs in high school.
Listed below are the remaining members of the 2017 recruiting class:
DJ Davidson, DE, 6’5”, 310, Freshman, Mesa, AZ, (Desert Ridge HS)
Evan Fields, DB, 6’1”, 186, Freshman, Oklahoma City, OK (Midwest City HS)
Shannon Forman, DT, 6’1”, 300, Freshman, Baton Rouge, LA. (Southern Lab HS)
Langston Frederick, CB, 5’10”, 175, Freshman, League City, TX, (Clear Springs HS)
Curtis Hodges, WR, 6’7”, 225, Freshman, Mesa, AZ (Mountain View HS)
KJ Jarrell, DB, 6’2, 180, Freshman, Scottsdale, AZ, (Saguaro HS)
Tyler Johnson, ATH, 6’4”, 245, Freshman, Gilbert, AZ, (Highland HS)
Trelon Smith, RB, 5’9”, 180, Freshman, Houston, TX, (Cy Ridge HS)
Kyle Soelle, LB, 6’4”, 200, Freshman, Scottsdale, AZ, (Saguaro HS)
Corey Stephens, OG, 6’3”, 280, Freshman, Scottsdale, AZ (Saguaro HS)
Ty Thomas, S, 5’11”, 195, Freshman, Lubbock, TX, (Cooper HS)
Mark Walton, TE, 6’5”, 239. Freshman, Yuma, AZ, (Cibola HS)