Player News

Date:

The Denton Record-Chronicle's Brett Vito reports that transferring Arizona State graduate WR Ellis Jefferson "has interest in North Texas."

Vito passes along that it isn't clear yet whether the Mean Green have a reciprocal interest in bringing Jefferson on board. He managed only a pair of catches for 21 yards this past season, working mostly as a blocker. The 6-foot-5, 212-pound graduate transfer will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.
Feb 18 - 12:13 PM

Arizona State redshirt junior QB Manny Wilkins says he doesn't mind having to compete with Alabama transfer Blake Barnett for the starting quarterback job.

"It's all part of the game," Wilkins said. "College football is a business. I'm not scared. I'm not flustered. That's not who I am. It really doesn't matter to me. I'm very hungry." The competition is expected to exclusively be between Wilkins and Barnett because backups Brady White and Bryce Perkins are injured and the coaching staff wants to redshirt sophomore Dillon Sterling-Cole and incoming freshman Ryan Kelley. Barnett was ranked by ESPN as the nation's No. 1 pocket passer coming out of high school. New ASU OC Billy Napier was most recently Alabama's WR coach, giving him a good deal of familiarity with Barnett. "We're going to create competition," Napier said. "We're going to evaluate them as if we don't know anything about them."
Source: ESPN
Feb 17 - 3:30 PM

Arizona State redshirt sophomore QB Blake Barnett believes that Alabama HC Nick Saban tarnished his reputation.

"A lot of backlash that I received from [the opener against USC] was that I came out nervous," Barnett said. "I think you could ask just about every teammate and they'd agree that I wasn't. But a certain coach went out to the media and said that I was and so I got that negative reputation from it." The reference to Saban going "out to the media" was in relation to Saban's comments to ESPN's Sam Ponder regarding his quarterback's state of mind at the time of Bama's 2016 season-opener. To be fair to Saban, the fact that Barnett even earned that first start was something of a surprise given that all signs had been pointing toward Cooper Bateman during August camp. Jalen Hurts eventually took over for Barnett against the Trojans. The rest, as they say, is history. Former five-star recruit Barnett eventually transferred to Arizona State in December. After receiving an NCAA waiver, he will be eligible to play immediately for HC Todd Graham's crew in 2017.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 16 - 7:33 PM

Arizona State hired former Louisiana-Monroe assistant coach Rob Sale as offensive line coach.

Arizona State head coach Todd Graham was forced to find a replacement for Josh Henson less than a month after hiring him as the Sun Devils' new offensive line coach. Henson left to take the OL coach position at Oklahoma State, his alma mater. Graham found a great back-up plan in Sale. Sale spent one year at Louisiana-Monroe after coaching the offensive line at Georgia in 2015. He's highly respected in the industry.
Source: Scout.com
Feb 15 - 4:34 PM

Arizona State redshirt senior WR Ellis Jefferson will transfer as a graduate.

The 6-foot-5, 212-pound Jefferson caught a combined 23 passes for 304 yards between 2014-2015, but he fell off to just two catches for 21 yards in 2016. Jefferson spent most of the year as a blocker in ASU's "Sparky" formation. As a graduate transfer, the Texas native can transfer to another FBS program and play immediately in 2017.
Feb 15 - 2:43 PM

Arizona State signed four-star 2017 ATH Tyler Johnson.

Johnson opted to keep his talents in-state, as he hails from Gilbert, Arizona. Rivals ranks the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder as the No. 164 overall prospect in the 2017 class. Should he stick on the offensive side of the ball -- he has also worked on the defensive line -- Johnson is a probable tight end at the collegiate level.
Source: Rivals
Feb 9 - 2:33 PM

Arizona State signed three-star CB Langston Frederick.

247Sports lists Frederick as the No. 129 corner in the class. The Sun Devils beat out Houston, Michigan State and Indiana to get him.
Source: SB Nation
Feb 1 - 3:31 PM

Arizona State signed four-star S Evan Fields.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder chose the Sun Devils over Kansas State, Notre Dame, Oregon, TCU and UCLA. Rivals, 247 Sports and ESPN gave the ball-hawking defensive back a three-star designation while Scout says he's a four-star.
Source: SB Nation
Feb 1 - 1:47 PM

Scout.com's Kerry Crowley reports that Arizona State redshirt sophomore QB Blake Barnett has received a Legislative Relief Waiver that will allow him to play immediately in 2017.

Barnett opened the season as Alabama's starter, was almost immediately upended by freshman QB Jalen Hurts, then transferred to a JUCO program at the end of September before moving on to Arizona State in December. He was initially expected to be eligible after the first four games of the 2017 season, but with this Legislative Relief Waiver, he will be now be able to play from the word "go."
Source: Scout.com
Jan 31 - 4:22 PM

Arizona State hired Alabama receivers coach Billy Napier as offensive coordinator.

Once upon a time not so long ago, Napier was the 29-year-old wunderkind who was Clemson's first offensive coordinator under Dabo Swinney, making him the youngest coordinator in school history. Swinney fired Napier after two seasons. Napier landed as an offensive analyst at Alabama in 2011. He then worked under Jim McElwain at Colorado State as quarterbacks coach for a year before returning to 'Bama. Napier replaces former OC Chip Lindsey, who left for Auburn after one season. Alabama's offensive staff has undergone a drastic makeover this winter. Napier joins former OC Lane Kiffin (Florida Atlantic head coach) and OT/TE coach Mario Cristobal (Oregon co-offensive coordinator) as marquee names that have left.
Source: USA Today
Jan 29 - 12:16 PM

Alabama three-star 2017 verbal K commit Brandon Ruiz flipped his commitment to Arizona State.

Ruiz decommitted from Alabama on Sunday, then pledged himself to Arizona State on Monday. SEC Country's Chris Kirschner hears that the 5-foot-10, 176-pounder out of Gilbert, Arizona, decided upon the Sun Devils in part because he would like to stay close to home as he embarks on his college journey. Chris Sailer of ChrisSailerKicking.com views Ruiz as having the ability to "dominate the next level."
Jan 16 - 6:06 PM

Arizona State junior RB Kalen Ballage announced his decision to return to school for the 2017 season.

Instead of entering a loaded running back class in 2017, Ballage will wait for the loaded 2018 running back class. Ballage's collegiate career has been an interesting, bursting on to the scene after splitting time between running back and edge rusher. He only produced one game of over 100 yards in 2016. He stands at a monstrous 6-foot-3 and 230-pounds.
Jan 12 - 10:07 AM

Arizona State hired former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett to the same position.

Arizona State head coach Todd Graham simply had to fix his broken defense, and he's tabbed Bennett to do it. The Sun Devils have had the nation's worst passing defense in yards allowed the past two years. Not coincidentally, they had losing seasons both years. Bennett's hiring suggests that former defensive coordinator Keith Patterson is headed towards retirement. Bennett has been the defensive coordinator at Iowa State, Purdue, LSU, TCU, Texas A&M, Kansas State and Pitt.
Source: Scout.com
Jan 11 - 5:33 PM

Arizona State received a verbal commitment from four-star 2017 RB Eno Benjamin.

In addition to the Sun Devils, Benjamin was also considering Michigan, Texas, Utah and Baylor. He ranks as ESPN 300's No. 86 overall prospect in the 2017 cycle. The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder had been committed to Iowa during the summer before backing off that pledge this past autumn. Scout.com's Gabe Brooks notes that Benjamin is "a highly instinctive, high-volume running back who possesses big-play ability as well as workhorse production." Brooks refers to him as a "dangerous start-stop runner."
Source: Scout.com
Jan 7 - 1:59 PM

Rivals recruiting director Mike Farrell was disappointed by the showing of Arizona State four-star 2017 verbal QB commit Ryan Kelley at the Under Armour All-America Game.

"Kelley didn’t look good at all in practice and missed the game with a shoulder injury," Farrell wrote. "Whether it was the shoulder or just a poor performance, we came away disappointed regardless." The 6-foot-3, 180-pound dual-threat committed to the Sun Devils last May. At the time, ESPN's Tom Luginbill noted that Kelley still had physical development ahead of him before he unlocks his potential. A redshirt would probably best serve his progression, particularly given that former five-star QB Blake Barnett transferred over to Arizona State in December.
Source: Rivals
Jan 3 - 6:27 PM


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