Class of 2013 Analysis & Predictions: Offense

Devils Digest's Joe Healey takes a closer look at all the offensive players signed in Arizona State 2013 recruiting class and their projected contributions this upcoming season.

Wide Receiver

Ellis Jefferson

Analysis: A tall receiver in a Gerell Robinson type of mold, Jefferson starred for Denton Guyer High as a senior en route to a state championship. A tough receiver with the ability to absorb contact—similar to his aforementioned Sun Devil predecessor—Jefferson was moderately listed in terms of recruiting rankings but has the skill set to provide ASU a high ceiling.

Prediction: Jefferson has the size and physical nature to bypass a redshirt, but the path isn't immediate. With the quantity of receivers signed by ASU, Jefferson likely will compete with some of his fellow 2013 signees for playing time. Both the "X" and "Y" receiver positions likely have open spots on the two-deep, but of all the wide receivers ASU signed Wednesday Jefferson might face the stiffest test for immediate playing time in 2013.

Ronald Lewis

Analysis: A shifty all-purpose athlete, Lewis might see action in multiple offensive capacities during his Sun Devil career. A capable runner, exciting receiver and explosive returns specialist, Lewis has the standout skills that make him a compelling player to watch in the future. Lewis played both receiver and quarterback in high school so it is likely that his technical skill needs refinement but his explosiveness is as awe-inspiring as any member of ASU's class.

Prediction: Generally described by Graham to have similar qualities to D.J. Foster in terms of his ability to be used out of the backfield or split out wide, Lewis has a dynamic skill set that might be tough to reserve on the sidelines as a redshirt. Also, due to the fact that ASU did not sign a true running back in 2013, Lewis' all-purpose nature gives him instant impact appeal.

Joseph Morris

Analysis: A big-bodied receiver, the 6-foot-4 Morris is one of multiple large receivers among the 2013 class that collectively give ASU features that were missing in 2012 after the likes of Gerell Robinson and Mike Willie departed from the roster. The leading receiver for his junior college as a freshman in 2011, Morris also has the ability to play on special teams coverage units, a major selling point according to Coach Graham.

Prediction: Morris brings similar qualities as does Ellis Jefferson, but his two-year JUCO stint gives him a leg up if it were to be considered a competition between the two for playing time at any point. Whether he competes with the likes of Alonzo Agwuenu at "X" receiver or with Kevin Ozier at "Y" receiver, Morris may not prove to be a game-breaker in the pass game but should be able to use his college experience and physicality to see a satisfactory amount of playing time.

Cameron Smith

Analysis: One of the most intriguing members of ASU's 2013 class, Smith was a virtual unknown after his junior season was cut down to only five game appearances due to an injury. However, his senior season was star-studded as he surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark while also boasting a superhuman GPA of 4.7 according to Coach Graham. Smith gives an excellent skill set and has the smarts and work ethic to make the absolute most out of any opportunity. In all, he gives the impression of a Jaxon Hood type of athlete who will take even the slightest opportunity on the field and turn it into something very impressive.

Prediction: With depth concerns at "Z" receiver with first-string Jamal Miles and third-string A.J. Pickens gone form 2012, Smith will have the opportunity to compete for a depth chart position in the fall behind likely starter Richard Smith. Smith could be a fringe player in terms of whether he plays or redshirts, but the opportunity exists for him to earn immediate time.

Jaelen Strong

Analysis: One of the most prominent JUCO receivers in the country after only one year playing at Pierce College, Strong comes to ASU with high expectations—but also uncertainty as he has a hefty course load to complete before being qualified to join the Sun Devil football program. If he is able to earn the requisite amount of credits to transfer, Strong will be a starting candidate from day one.

Aside from his football talents, he provides major intrigue as a three-year transfer, making his ability to arrive in the fall nothing short of crucial. Though ASU stacked up considerably at wide receiver with this signing class, there still are many question marks at the three receiver spots, making Strong's presence a major plus toward the position group's overall ability in 2013.

Prediction: As is well known, Strong has a challenging course load ahead of him to be able to enroll in the fall as a redshirt sophomore. Challenging as it may be, the series of tasks is not impossible. If he gets the green light when August rolls around Strong should be able to strongly challenge for one of the open starting wide receiver spots.

Tight End

Grant Martinez

Analysis: Due to his height and athletic gifts—Martinez also starts for Notre Dame's basketball team—Martinez has a bright future at ASU at tight end. With two seniors returning in Coyle and Rogers and JUCO transfer De'Marieya Nelson arriving in the fall, it is unlikely that his services will be required in 2013. It will benefit Martinez to not be forced into duty in 2013 as he could use a redshirt year and full offseason thereafter to add bulk to his 6-foot-5 frame. After adding 20 pounds or so of bulk, Martinez will be a key candidate to help fill the void left by Coyle and Rogers, both seniors in 2013.

Prediction: Due to the existence of two scholarship seniors and one scholarship junior ahead of him and that he will be well served to use a year to add bulk, Martinez seems very likely headed for a redshirt in 2013.

De'Marieya Nelson

Analysis: Though Nelson was in reality, at best, the third junior college tight end option ASU pursued, he physically fits the Sun Devil offense perfectly due to his athletic versatility. Look no further than the meteoric rise Chris Coyle enjoyed in 2012 compared to his previous two seasons at ASU to see what a player of that sort of mold can contribute. Nelson obviously won't unseat Coyle and likely won't serve the line of scrimmage type of role that Darwin Rogers does, but he figures to be a more than capable third option and a solid target to complement Coyle as a receiver.

As the Sun Devil staff works to usher in several new pieces at wide receiver – both in terms of newcomers to the program as well as returning players who will have to take on greater roles – it is likely that the tight ends and running backs, as they did last year, will receive a great deal of attention in the pass game. With that being the case, Nelson could still be frequently targeted even though he stands behind the record-setting Coyle at the 3-back position.

Prediction: Nelson is a perfect fit for what ASU wants to see from its 3-back position, also adding the ability to carry the ball out of the backfield that a player such as Coyle does not. Nelson will very likely be Coyle's top backup at 3-back and in all likelihood the staff will be creative with the ways Nelson is used.

Offensive Line

Nick Kelly

Analysis: Kelly having four years to play three was a major selling point to ASU's coaches, while his presence provides versatility but also allows other players—Mo Latu's name has been mentioned specifically—to shuffle between guard and center. Starting center Kody Koebensky enters his senior season and Latu (who also might play guard) and Devin Goodman return, so it is possible that Kelly will do as Billy McGehee did last year and redshirt during his first year on campus.

Kelly's need in the fall might depend on the performances this spring of players such as Sil Ajawara, Goodman, Latu and Stephon McCray, as the staff can evaluate whether the returning linemen provide the needed depth for 2013.

Prediction: Kelly has the distinct advantages of now only being a three-year JUCO transfer but also having arrived in time for spring ball. With Mo Latu likely moving to guard, Kelly will presumably battle with Devin Goodman for second-team reps at center behind Kody Koebensky. If Kelly is able to out-perform Goodman, he likely will serve as Koebensky's top backup in 2013. However, if Kelly falters, the possibility of a redshirt year is always an option.

Jack Powers

Analysis: A project with high potential in the mold of an Evan Finkenberg or a Jamil Douglas, Powers undoubtedly will need a redshirt year to add size to his lengthy frame. However, with Finkenberg gone after 2013 and uncertainty as to who will fill in for Brice Schwab at right tackle—as well as a general lack of young depth at tackle—Powers' future will be what he makes of it.

Prediction: An athletic lineman, Powers has intriguing upside but he likely will not be physically prepared to play in the fall. He will benefit from adding at least 30 pounds from now until the start of the 2014 season so he can an eligible option to replace Evan Finkenberg at left tackle.

Christian Westerman

Analysis: Largely because 2014 seems so far away for many recruiting followers, the addition of Westerman isn't quite getting the wide scale attention it really should. The fact of the matter is that Westerman represents the most highly acclaimed recruit in ASU history and is the highest-rated offensive recruit from Arizona in the history of's ratings. Sure, ASU did not land Westerman out of Hamilton High School in 2011, but by the accounts of many his potential is still sky-high and he figures to be a prominent force for the Sun Devil line for the two years he will suit up in maroon and gold.

Prediction: Though Sun Devil fans had hoped Auburn would receive some sort of NCAA sanctions—which would render Westerman eligible to play immediately—the current expectation is that he will have to sit out in 2013. Come 2014, however, the former five-star prospect will be an option at either offensive guard or tackle and has already established himself as a diligent worker in ASU's offseason conditioning program.

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