The ASU football team added 27 student athletes to its roster Wednesday.
Coach Todd Graham brought on 10 junior college players in the class, led by junior defensive lineman Marcus Hardison and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jaelen Strong.
Hardison is listed at 6 foot 5 inches tall, 290 pounds and has three years to play two. Rivals.com rated him as the No. 14 overall junior college prospect and third best junior college defensive end in the country.
“Marcus is one of the top defensive ends in America,” Graham said. “He’s a guy that our fans are going to love in a hurry. The thing that attracted him was that we are one of the best in the country at getting after the quarterback. We think he’ll have immediate impact here.”
Strong is listed at 6 foot 4 inches tall, 205 pounds and gives ASU a needed weapon at wide receiver for redshirt sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly.
Rivals.com rated him as the No. 8 wide receiver recruit and the No. 49 overall junior college prospect. He caught 67 passes for 1,263 yards with 15 touchdowns in 10 games last season.
“He’s the most dynamic receiver I’ve seen in a long time on film,” Graham said. “Our fans will love this guy.”
ASU grabbed four local recruits, led by linebacker Chans Cox and redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Christian Westerman.
Cox is listed at 6 foot 3 inches tall, 230 pounds and attended Blue Ridge High in Lakeside. Rivals rated him as the third-best recruit in Arizona and the No. 13 outside linebacker in the country.
“(ASU’s coaches) are really instilling discipline and character in the program, and that is something that means a whole lot to me,” Cox said in a press release. “I really love the coaching staff as well, and they always impress me when I visit with them. I’m proud to be an in-state guy committing to ASU, and I’m happy that I get to play close to my family and friends and have a great fan base that will always be behind me.”
Westerman transferred from Auburn and enrolled in January. He will participate in spring drills.
He was one of the most sought after recruits in Arizona history and was ranked the top recruit in the state in 2011. He’s one of the most highly rated recruits ever to join ASU as he played in two games last year for Auburn.
“Christian is going to be a tremendous player for us, very physical, very dominating,” Graham said. “He says very few words and works tremendously.”
The class includes student athletes from nine different home states. It breaks down to 16 defensive players, 10 offensive players and one specialist, but there isn’t a quarterback.
It’s the second consecutive class Graham hasn’t signed a quarterback.
Joshua Dobbs from Alpharetta, Ga., was a last-second switch from ASU to Tennessee on signing day, after he committed to ASU throughout the season.
“Obviously that wasn’t the plan,” Graham said. “I wish everyone the very best. You don’t win every battle, and can’t get every kid. All we can do is do things the right way, and that’s what we did. We are sitting great at quarterback. We have a tremendous young man in Taylor Kelly and we have (redshirt freshman) Mike Eubank and (redshirt sophomore) Mike Bercovici. But with all three of those guys, we are fine. It will be something that we will look at to bring someone in here.”
Here’s the full list of the 2013 class:
Name | Pos. | Year | Height | Height | Hometown/Last School
Marcus Ball | S | FR | 6-3 | 205 | Westerville, Ohio/Westerville-South HS
Nick Begg | DE | FR | 6-5 | 250 | Santa Margarita, Calif./Rancho Santa Margarita HS
Demetrius Cherry | DL | JR | 6-6 | 275 | Frostproof, Fla./Frostproof Middle HS/Contra Costa College
Chans Cox | LB | FR | 6-3 | 230 | Lakeside, Ariz./Blue Ridge HS
William Earley | CB | FR | 6-1| 200 | Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite HS
Eriquel Florence | LB | JR | 6-1 | 235 | Valley, Ala./Valley HS/Contra Costa College
Matt Haack | P | FR | 6-1 | 185 | West Des Moines, Iowa/Dowling HS
Marcus Hardison | DL | JR | 6-5 | 290 | Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Dodge City CC
Kisima Jagne | DL | FR | 6-5 | 265 | Chandler, Ariz./Chandler HS
Ellis Jefferson | WR | FR | 6-4 | 200 | Denton, Texas/Guyer HS
James Johnson | S | FR | 6-2 | 200 | Upland, Calif./Upland HS
Nick Kelly | OL | SO | 6-3 | 280 | Orangevale, Calif./Casa Roble HS/American River College
Alani Latu | LB | FR | 6-2 | 230 | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga HS
Viliami Latu | LB | FR | 6-2 | 230 | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga HS
Ronald Lewis | WR | FR | 6-0 | 185 | Harvey, La./West Jefferson HS
Antonio Longino | LB | RS SO | 6-3 | 225 | East Cleveland, Ohio/Shaw HS/Hutchinson CC
Grant Martinez | TE | FR | 6-5 | 210 | Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep
Solomon Means | DB | RS SO | 6-1 | 170 | Stockton, Calif./Lincoln HS/Butte College
Joseph Morris | WR | JR | 6-4 | 200 | West Palm Beach, Fla./American Heritage HS/Pierce College
De’Marieya Nelson | TE | RS JR | 6-3 | 230 | Stockton, Calif./Chavez Senior HS/San Joaquin Delta College
Jayme Otomewo | S | FR | 6-2 | 190 | Los Angeles, Calif./Dorsey HS
Jack Powers | OL | FR | 6-6 | 260 | Salinas, Calif./Palma HS
Damarious Randall | DB | RS JR | 6-0 | 185 | Pensacola, Fla./Pensacola HS/Mesa CC
Cameron Smith | WR | FR | 6-0 | 185 | Coppell, Texas/Coppell HS
Corey Smith | DL | FR | 6-7 | 260 | New Orleans, La./Perry Walker School
Jaelen Strong | WR | RS SO | 6-4 | 205 | Philadelphia, Pa./West Philadelphia Catholic HS/Pierce College
Christian Westerman | OL | RS SO | 6-4 | 303 | Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton HS/Auburn
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