Graham’s first recruiting class “exceeded expectations”

slider graham-signing-dayAnother chapter in the new era of Arizona State football was scripted Wednesday afternoon when 23 student-athletes inked their national letters of intent to be a part of Todd Graham’s first class at ASU.

The Devils balanced class featured 12 defensive players, 11 offensive players, and one specialist.

After the ink was dry and the faxes were received, Graham was pleased with the work he and his staff did on short notice after taking over for Dennis Erickson in December.

“This class is one that exceeded my expectations,” Graham explained to the assembled media in Tempe. “Our coaching staff has been tireless in their efforts. I’m lucky. Our staff is a great fit here at Arizona State.”

Without question, Graham’s biggest catch was Scottsdale Saguaro running back D.J. Foster who declined a late push from Pac-12 rivals Cal and Oregon and opted to stay home. He set a state single-season record with 60 total touchdowns as a senior, including 10 in one game. 

“D.J. Foster is the jewel of this class,” Graham said. “This guys character is unbelievable. He’s a home run hitter, an impact player. I’m so proud that he chose [ASU].”

The Devils also added much-needed depth up front, signing three offensive linemen, including Lakeland, Florida standout Evan Goodman. The 6’4, 290-pounder chose ASU over national powers Florida, Florida State, Nebraska, Ohio State and others.

“We’re really excited about his potential. We want to be a physical football team and this guy is physical. Offensive line was a big need for us…we feel like we addressed some of those.”

The class consists of 14 freshmen, eight juniors, and one sophomore from eight different states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Washington) and one from Canada.

“I don’t put much stock in recruiting rankings,” Graham said. “We feel like we got the one’s we were supposed to. This class is one that exceeded my expectations.”