ASU made waves last week when they brought in 45 of the top 2022 in-state recruits on an unofficial visit and offered over a dozen of them. It’s a move that is unprecedented and a statement from the coaching staff about their focus on keeping Arizona players in the state.
“They’re listening to the in-state coaches, which is awesome,” Higley head coach Eddy Zubey said. “It helps to have Donnie Yantis and Shaun Aguano there. That’s been one of their knocks the whole time is that ASU ends up the fifth or sixth offer for a kid eventhough we’re right in their backyard. Some of these kids are freaks and are going to be Division I guys from their size alone or their quickness.
“You’re never going to forget your first offer like you’re never going to forget your first kiss. You’re going to have a soft spot in their heart. Now for the next…three football seasons, these kids are going to be gung-ho Sun Devils. ”
These 13 players have varying degrees of varsity experience. Some started every game. Others have logged minimal varsity minutes. To help get familiar with these prosepcts, who better than the players’ high school coaches to help provide insight on the 13 offerees?
Gavin Broscious – Desert Edge – 6-3 280 pounds – first offer
Gavin Broscious was the starting left guard for the Scorpions since snap 1. His length and his edge has helped him set himself apart early in his high school career according to head coach Jose Lucero.
— Gavin Broscious (@BrosciousGavin) April 11, 2019
“One of the big things that I know ASU talked about in an (offensive lineman) is their ability to finish and be a finisher,” Lucero said. “Gavin has that. He plays with a nasty edge to him. When you put his film on, that’s one of the things that stands out. He’s a big kid, he’s athletic but he’s definitely a physical kid.”
Trent Ramsey – Higley – 6-4.5 – 250 pounds – first offer
Trent cemented himself along the offensive line as a right tackle after Week 8 and gave up just one sack in five games. He’s a basketball player and head coach Eddy Zubey says his athleticism has set him apart in his first year.
“Once he felt comfortable wth the blocking schemes and the pass protections, he began to really flourish. With the body that size, he was just getting in the way of people. He has a lot of room to grow but as a makeup, 6-4.5, 270 pounds and he’s very athletic.”
What gave the varsity coaches a chance to see Ramsey was caused by a band competition that forced varsity to practice with the freshman squad before school one day. In one-on-one drills, Zubey decided to put Ramsey up against Ty Robinson and Jason Harris, two of the top defensive lineman in the country.
After a great conversation with @aguanos, I am blessed and honored to receive my first D1 offer from @ASUFootball Forks Up!!?? @HIGLEYFOOTBALL @azc_obert @247recruiting @AZHSFB pic.twitter.com/rLlLS6rwTQ
— Trent Ramsey (@trent7ramsey) April 11, 2019
“He’s probably going to get his butt kicked, but this will be good for him,” Zubey thought.
“He lost, but he was doing things the right way. He was getting in their way. He was just getting out-powered but his footwork, his technique, hand-placement, he was doing good.”
After a few more one-on-ones where Ramsey held his own, the coaching staff thought the freshman could contribute on Friday nights.
“We knew he could play at this level one early morning because we had a band festival and couldn’t get on the field in the afternoon.”
Gavin Smith – Notre Dame Prep – ATH – 5-9, 170 pounds, first offer
Gavin Smith brings versatility to the field. Much like his older brother, Jake, who was a 2018 National Gatorade Player of the Year for the Saints, Gavin will play multiple positions for George Prelock in the coming years. He found the field in the Saints’ postseason win against Millennium as a safety.
“He’ll be a slot receiver, we’ll put him out wide,” Prelock said. “He may get a couple carries in the backfield and at certain times on defense. We’ll put him in at corner or he’ll be like a nickel back. A lot of it still depends, he is still extremely young. The fact that he was able to get his feet wet already and see it in a postseason game against a very talented Millennium, that’s obviously going to benefit him.”
— Gavin (@gavinsmith33_) April 11, 2019
Prelock said Smith “caused some fits” as a defensive back on the Saints’ scout team and is bigger than Jake was coming into his sophomore year.
“Gavin is just an extraordinary athlete and because of what happened with Jake, Gavin kind of knows what he wants,” Prelock said. “Jake, as a freshman, was more focused on baseball…he had a good freshman year and fell in love with football….Gavin is kind of all in on football and because of that, he’s been working hard in the weight-room, working hard on the field.”
Devon Grubbs – Desert Vista – RB – 6-0 – 180 pounds – first offer
Devon Grubbs burst onto the scene as a freshman running back with the Thunder, running for 768 yards and 13 touchdowns. His role expanded when his older brother Tyson went down with a season-ending injury.
According to head coach Dan Hinds, the younger Grubbs stepped up when his team needed him most.
“When the kid had to be the guy and carry the load, I knew he was ready to go because I could see what he did in previous games,” Hinds said. “I think he handled really well. He did not handle it like a typical freshman, that’s for sure.”
Very honored to have received my first D1 offer from @ASUFootball big Thanks to @aguanos @HermEdwards @DVHSfootball_ and to many more!?? And most of all, my family❤️ #ForksUP ? pic.twitter.com/Nvx2HQ1XOl
— Devon Grubbs (@devon_grubbs09) April 12, 2019
It’s a rarity for a Desert Vista freshman to have such a big role, and Grubbs literally hit the ground running.
“It wasn’t like it was a real progression,” Hinds said. “When we gave him the ball from the first play, mentally he was ready. There wasn’t this deal where he slowly, gradually got to a point. We gave him the ball right at the beginning and this kid was running. It was amazing.”
Tucker Wilburn – Arcadia – LB – 6-1 – 225 pounds – first offer
Tucker Wilburn was one of the many young contributors for Kerry Taylor and the Arcadia Titans. He found himself along the offensive and defensive line.
“He’s an extreamely athletic player,” Taylor said. “He’s long, he’s strong he can run. He’s a basketball guy that can play football,” Taylor said.
“He’s going eith be a defensive end or offensive tackle he did both extremely well last year.”
Proud to say I’ve received my 1st offer from Arizona State University pic.twitter.com/Z34SQP1Go9
— Tucker Wilburn (@tuckerw03) April 12, 2019
Taylor, who was recruited and played at ASU, thinks the coaching staff’s strategy to offer so many up-and-coming 2022 recruits is wise.
“It’s big-time for them because the word is out that Arizona has a lot of top talent here and the key for them playing in national championships is them winning the Arizona battle and getting the Arizona kids to stay home and play at ASU.”
Trevor Swan – Perry – OL – 6-1 – 225 pounds – first offer
Perry offensive lineman Trevor Swan’s size makes him intriguing in his development. The offensive lineman didn’t see much time at the varsity level but has plenty of room to grow.
“I think he’s a hard-working kid, has a great attitude,” Perry coach Preston Jones said. “He has good leadership skills just by his actions so we’re really excited about him.”
— Trevor Swan (@TrevorSwan55) April 12, 2019
Jones believes Swan’s versatility can add to his value for the Pumas and colleges looking at him.
“He can play center, which is outstanding,” Jones said. “He snaps well. I think he can play guard or tackle, so when you get a lineman that can play all those positions, that’s pretty impressive. I think he’ll play where our greatest need is.”
Aziya Jamison -American Leadership Academy Queen Creek – RB – 6-0 – 185 pounds – second offer
The 6-foot, 185-pound running back rushed for 672 yards and five touchdowns in seven games for ALA. He is the only one of this group to already have an offer. BYU offered him on February 26th. ALA Queen Creek offensive coordinator Max Hall said Jamison’s strong freshman year was due to his physical ability and also his knowledge of the game.
— Aziya Jamison (@JamisonAziya22) April 11, 2019
“He’s very football smart and savvy,” Hall said. “He was very good at understanding the line scheme and where to go. He’s got great vision. He’s a very aggressive runner. He’s not afraid of contact and when he hits the hole, he’s gone. Not only is he a big kid and a powerful kid but how he was able to step in at the varsity level right away and pick up a scheme right away and understand what was going on, it’s exciting what he was able to do and understand.”
Hall was with Jamison on the visit and saw firsthand how the Sun Devils could separate themselves from other programs that will recruit these players.
“It was impressive, not only with the facilities they have and the technology and things they’re doing there. I think they really hit home with the kids that this is where we need all the in-state players to be. We have some of the best facilities, best coaches that you can have and I think it really pushed this group of kids to be that next team where all these kids stay together and play for Arizona State and play.”
Shawn Miller – Saguaro – WR – 6-1, 180 pounds – first offer
Shawn Miller caught a touchdown at the varsity level as a freshman and could be one of the many big-time options in the passing game moving forward.
“Shawn is a very talented young man with a lot of potential,” Saguaro head coach Jason Mohns said. “He started several games for us on varsity last year as a freshman and played the majority of the season with the varsity team. Very hard working kid with a very high ceiling.”
All glory to god ? I am blessed and excited to announce that I have received my first offer from @ASUFootball many thanks to @CoachMohns @Saguaro_HS @aguanos @HermEdwards #TheMarathonContinues ? pic.twitter.com/HYpneZzD4H
— ????? ??????† (@Miller_Movement) April 12, 2019
Anthony Lucas – Chaparral – DL/OL – 6-5, 258 pounds – first offer
Lucas has some impressive size that caught the eye of the Chaparral coaching staff right off the bat. What makes it even more impressive is the fact that, according to head coach Brent Barnes, Lucas was 13 years old for most of his freshman season.
Beyond excited to announce I have received my first power 5 offer from Arizona state university. #ForksUp
— Anthonylucas2022 (@Anthonylucas201) April 12, 2019
But Lucas’ size isn’t the only thing that has Coach Barnes excited. Lucas also plays basketball and baseball on top of football.
“Anthony probably has a chance to be one of the more athletic big guys I’ve been around,” Barnes said.
It was a big year for growth for Lucas last season as it was his first on the gridiron.
“He’s one of those guys who played all the other sports and once he got to high school, he went out for football,” Barnes said. “As he starts to develop and get some experience there, he could be really special.”
Barnes sees Lucas as a potential defensive end but could also him developing into a “big-time” offensive tackle.
Now comes the four Chandler Wolves to add offers from ASU. New Sun Devil running back coach Shaun Aguano had some extra familiarity with these players as he was the Wolves’ head coach their freshman year. This 2022 Chandler class has already been tabbed as one that could be special.
Quaron Adams – Chandler – RB – 5-7 – 140 pounds – first offer
Quaron Adams has some significant big-play capabilities out of the backfield as a runner and receiver. Chandler head coach and long-time offensive coordinator Rick Garretson is reminded of an NFL playmaker when watching Adams.
— Quaron Adams (@QuaronAdams) April 11, 2019
“Have you heard of Tyreek Hill? There you go,” Garretson said. “He’s a football guy that runs track. He ran an electronic 10.6 at the Chandler Rotary Meet. He’s got special skills on ball tracking as a receiver. He’s a kid in backfield, he’s a kid that can be in the slot, he’s a kid that can be a wide out. He can be single by himself.”
Nason Coleman – Chandler – WR/DB/TE – 6-3 – 200 pounds – first offer
Nason Coleman is already a mismatch as a receiver/tight end a position that has been a staple of the Chandler offense.
Very excited and blessed to receive an offer from @ASUFootball much Mahaloz to @aguanos @donnieyantis @HermEdwards @Coach_Jacobo @GarretsonRick @TheBottrills @Ignite_Perf @kawej_16 @brettboyd34 #ForksUP ? pic.twitter.com/Zb5vuKOwYS
— Nason Coleman (@nason_5) April 12, 2019
“We’ve been fortuntate that we’ve had guys that last few years that are multiple like Brayden Liebrock or Jarick Caldwell or Jay McEuen and we don’t have to take them off the field and they can either play an inside spot,” Garretson said. “They can play a wing, they can a dart, they can block. Nason can play all of those qualities with some vertical speed. He’s 6-3 approaching 6-4 kid as a true freshman. He’s got skills that make you a really smart coach when you’ve got guys like that.”
Micah Lutu – Chandler – OG/DL – 6-0, 290 pounds – first offer
Micah Lutu’s measurables standout at 6-foot and 290 pounds, but don’t confuse him for just a big guy. According to his head coach, he thrives in his off the field prep to help him as an offensive or defensive lineman.
— Micah Lutu (@micah11498796) April 11, 2019
“Whether he’s on the offensive front or the defensive front, he’s got very agile for his size,” Garretson said. “He’s a pretty lean guy and he’s about 290 pounds right now,” Garretson said.
“He’s very athletic and pushes himself in the weight room.”
Kyion Grayes – Chandler – ATH – 6-0 – 155 pounds – first offer
Grayes is another player who provides a deep threat for the Wolves and someone who knows he belongs on a talented Chandler roster.
“He’s a kid that get vertical, a kid that can go up and get the football. He’s not afraid to compete. He’s a little ahead of his time in that sense. A lot of young guys can get intimidated going up against the older guys. There’s the diversity of him and Nason and Quaran, those skill spot. I don’t know, things are looking pretty good at Chandler.”
Beyond blessed to have received my very first offer from my hometown school Arizona State University??? @KotgMedia @GarretsonRick @the_22_crew @aguanos @JUSTCHILLY @247Sports @gridironarizona pic.twitter.com/5fzkszDP1N
— Kyion Grayes II? (@k2gocrazy) April 11, 2019
The Sun Devils certainly went bold on this visit. The next few years will show how effective their evaluations and timing played into recruiting this group, and it will be something many programs and fanbases will keep an eye on.