Ducey And High School Sports, ASU v UA Football Recruiting Strategies, Quick Hits

Arizona Sports News online

Arizona State football is landing national talent from across the land. Every time another player from a state that is east of the Mississippi commits or even lists the Sun Devils as a finalist for their services, alums get so excited. Herm Edwards wants a national recruiting image and he’s got it. 

Here’s the problem. I hear from those same alums about the lack of local high school players going to Tempe. I’ve heard this complaint since coming to the state back in 1993.

There are some Valley high school coaches who are miffed about the lack of attention they are receiving from Arizona State. That’s not to say that the Sun Devils aren’t ignoring the state, but they certainly aren’t acting like our little slice of heaven is a priority to fill out a class.

Since Jedd Fisch took over in Tucson, the Arizona Wildcats have said, “let’s embrace in-state players”. The proof is in the pudding. Drake Anderson (Chandler), Gunner Maldonado (Chandler), and Jason Harris (Higley) all entered the transfer portal and ended up going to Arizona. 70-7 in December doesn’t mean anything to 18, 19, and 20-year-olds.

They want the opportunity to play right away. It should be noted that ASU had an interest in Anderson last year and pursued Harris before he signed with Colorado. The Wildcats have offered several 2021 players, and 2022 Hamilton defensive menace Russell Davis, who’s a wrecking ball. 

There is one big fish in the 2022 in-state recruiting class who could shut down the talk of ASU not doing enough to close the borders. 

Land a top hometown QB and you’ll hear a different tune out of those who don’t think ASU is doing anything more than paying lip service to the importance of State 48. Bryce Perkins and Ryan Kelley are the last two local quarterbacks that opted to stay home. It didn’t work out in Tempe for either one, but they were in maroon and gold after high school was complete. 

I’m fine with ASU’s current approach. They’ve been consistent in going national. They’ve made no bones about the priority in finding players with a certain size, weight, wingspan. I do like what Fisch and Arizona have done in the first few weeks on the job…

QUICK HITS

Fans aren’t happy tonight with Bobby Hurley. Losing on Saturday at Oregon State was the final straw for the “let’s be patient” squad. Yes, I thought the team would be/should be much better. Guard U needs to be shelved by the marketing folks…

Anything this week from the Diamondbacks? Has anyone seen or heard from them this offseason?…

Masks in high school wrestling. What possibly could go wrong? Have you watched a wrestling match lately?…

I get the rule of a small number of fans being allowed into high school gyms for Winter sports. I have no idea why fans aren’t allowed in greater numbers for soccer games. Speaking as a former high school soccer dad, there are maybe 25-50 people at soccer games max.

We bundle up in blankets on metal benches and shiver for two hours. I’m all about safety, but not allowing parents is taxing on them too. If we’re going to use the mental health benefits of playing high school sports, the same can be said for the families of the players to attend games.

David Hines doesn’t deserve all of the criticism that he’s been getting since last August. Yes, he’s the leader of the AIA, so with leadership, there’s going to be critics. I supported Hines early in the pandemic. I called him a couple of times in late June and early July to offer support.

I went to Governor Ducey directly in August and asked him at a press briefing why he wasn’t taking any action on Fall sports. At the time, I also asked Ducey about mega-events like the Fiesta Bowl and the WM Open. He scoffed at my suggestion that they would be impacted by the virus.

Well Doug, you might want to go back and look at the tape. Hines and the AIA were put in a terrible spot because our state leader refused to lead. Look at what the Republican Governor of West Virginia did this week on the subject of high school sports. 

Governor Announces WV Winter Sports Can Begin Practice in February

It’s not that hard to lead, is it? …

Do you see the Rams, Seahawks, or 49ers having a drop off in talent that would open the door for the Cardinals in 2021? Me either. It’s on the owner and GM to make the right decisions to improve from within because the other teams in the division aren’t going to fall apart.

 

 

 

 

 

Media personality Brad Cesmat first rose to fame in Southern California with the launching of "The Mighty 690" all-sports radio station in the late 1980's and early 90's. Brad came to Arizona in 1993 to begin a 10-year run at KTAR Radio followed by nine years at KTVK-TV in Phoenix. Brad is the Founder/ CEO of Sports360AZ.com. His vision of multi platform content marketing through sports began in September of 2011. Cesmat has served on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army for the last 18 years. He and his wife Chris have four children.