Posted: 10:00 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013
By Jack Follman
Arizona State continues our 12-part series where we are ranking the best recruits to sign with each Pac-12 school since the advent of serious recruiting coverage on the Internet (2002 serving as the furthest year back that you can find rankings for players online). Our rankings are put together by combining players' rankings from recruiting sites, offers and the amount of hype that surrounded their singings.
Please note that these are taking only into account how highly-rated players were coming out of high school, not their college careers. So please, no angry, insult-laden comments about how only a child murderer wouldn't realize that LaMichael James (Or any player who had a great college career, but was an under-the-radar recruit) should be number three on the list.
1. Vontaze Burfict Class of 2009 LB Corona, CA - Centennial
A dominating, physical presence who was probably the biggest hitter in the country, Burfict was huge and arguably the top linebacker prospect in the nation in 2009. Burfict committed to USC at one point, but off-the-field issues were always a question mark and he ended up switching to Arizona State and making a huge splash. Burfict immediately became one of the best linebackers in the Pac-12 but was a massive head case and constantly struggled with behavior, he left a year early for the NFL where he went undrafted, but had a great rookie season with the Bengals.
2. Zach Miller Class of 2004 TE Phoenix, AZ - Desert Vista
A perfect tight end prospect with good size, athleticism and polish, Miller was the top tight end in the nation in his class. The Sun Devils made a huge score when they fought off Miami, Oklahoma, Tennessee and UCLA to keep him home. Miller became an All-American at Arizona State before becoming a second-round draft pick and a standout in the NFL.
3. Corey Adams Class of 2009 DT Scottsdale, AZ - Saguaro
A weight-lifting standout with ideal size and athleticism for the position, Adams was one of the top defensive linemen out West in 2009. Adams had an intense recruitment and was another huge, local snag for the Sun Devils when they got him to stay home over Nebraska, Ohio State and USC. Adams had unlimited potential, but injuries plagued his career and he had to retire from football as a senior.
4. Lawrence Guy Class of 2008 DT Las Vegas, NV - Western
The top defensive tackle on the West Coast in 2008, Guy was big with great speed for his size and looked like a future star at the position. Guy could have went just about anywhere in the country and headed down to Tempe, choosing the Sun Devils over Nebraska and USC. Guy was good at Arizona State but never quite lived up to expectations and left school early to go to the NFL.
5. Michael Affleck Class of 2003 QB Provo, UT - Timpview
Affleck was a massive quarterback prospect at 6'3 240 that was good enough to garner an offer from USC when they were in their 2000s prime but ended up going to Arizona State. Affleck got injured though and left Tempe before he played and transferred to BYU before finally ending up at Utah State.
6. Derek Shaw Class of 2005 QB Oceanside, CA
A big passer with great arm strength and great numbers coming out of high school, Shaw is one of the best quarterbacks to recently come out of the San Diego area. Shaw had offers from all over the West Coast and ended up heading East to Tempe. Shaw never made an impact at ASU and ended up leaving the team.
7. D.J. Foster Class of 2012 RB Scottsdale, AZ - Saguoro
One of the best running backs in the Class of 2012 with great size and blazing speed, Foster was a big time prospect out West. Foster was another Phoenix area guy that the Sun Devils were able to pull away from a number of national programs as he chose them over Cal, Nebraska, Oregon and USC. Foster quickly became a serious weapon for the Sun Devils and was maybe the best freshman running back in the Pac-12 in 2012.
8. Chans Cox Class of 2013 FB Lakeside, AZ - Blue Ridge
The top-rated fullback in the country, Cox is a tough throwback that was rated as a four-star prospect by Scout. Cox made the decision to stay home early on and the Sun Devils earned his signature over a number of big time schools.
9. Evan Goodman Class of 2012 T Lakeland, FL
A strong, high motor guy, Goodman was one of the top-rated tackle prospects in Florida in the Class of 2012. Big time schools like Florida State, Notre Dame and Nebraska and the Sun Devils beat them all to earn his signature and followed his twin brother Devin to Tempe.
10. Kyle Caldwell Class of 2003 DE Scottsdale, AZ - Saguoro
Caldwell was a bit of a combo defensive lineman with outstanding strength and size that was a sack machine. Caldwell decided to stay home and be a Sun Devil and had a good career at Arizona State who made All-Pac-12 as a senior.
Andre Bailey Class of 2002 S Tempe, AZ - McClintock
Omar Bolden Class of 2007 CB Ontario, CA - Colony
Michael Eubank Class of 2011 QB Corona, CA - Centennial
Po'u Palelei Class of 2007 G Las Vegas, NV - Bishop Gorman
Jermaine Williams Class of 2006 DE Phoenix, AZ - Maryvale