ASU Lands Local Blue Chip WR

Arizona State's high-octane offense just became a little more dangerous. After finishing second in the Pac-12 last season in scoring offense, the Sun Devils added another weapon to their arsenal on Wednesday when Scottsdale Chaparral's Tyler Whiley committed to ASU.

Rated as one of the state's top recruits, Tyler Whiley was a standout two-way player at Chaparral High School that excelled equally at both wide receiver and defensive back for the Firebirds.

As a senior, he collected 41 receptions for 587 yards (14.3 average) and seven touchdowns to go along with 98 carries for 702 yards (7.2 average) and another 12 touchdowns while leading Chaparral to the 5A Division II state championship game.

"It feels good," said Whiley on Wednesday after making his pledge official. "It takes a lot of weight off my shoulders and now I can plan for the future."

Whiley jumped onto the scene as a junior, where after he caught 36 passes for 610 yards and 10 touchdowns, he received scholarship offers Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and nearly every school in the Pac-12.

But after a visit to ASU over the summer, Whiley knew he had found a home and verbally committed to the Sun Devils in late July, becoming the first big local recruit in the 2014 recruiting class to pledge to the Sun Devils.

"I just wanted to get it over with," he said. "It started my junior year and it was just too much for me. I just wanted to get it over with so I could just play and see how I'm going to get into college and just focus more on my grades.

"It was just a late night thought and then I thought about it a little more and talked to my parents about it. And then the next day I just knew it was the school for me and just committed."

Whiley is one of three Arizona high school prospects to commit to the Sun Devils this year and one that many expect to contend for early playing time in the fall.

Aside from remaining close to home, Whiley cited his familiarity with the Arizona State offense and his relationship with Wide Receivers Coach DelVaughn Alexander as two significant factors behind his commitment to the maroon and gold.

"We (Alexander) have a close relationship," Whiley said. "I got to go down there a lot and see him and spend some one-on-one time with him and I really didn't get to do that with a lot of the other coaches. Not a lot of the other coaches even tried to do that."

"We talked other day just to see how I was doing and not just to talk about football but life and things like that and that's what I liked the most.

"Coach Graham is very honest person and I like that too. I also like that they're a good brotherhood team."

The Sun Devils return starting wide receiver Jaelen Strong from last year's team but enter the fall with roles to be filled at the receiver position with the departure of senior Kevin Ozier and the role of slot receiver/tailback D.J. Foster still to be determined.

"They're good," said Whiley of the Sun Devil receivers. "They're good enough but they need more receivers. They did it all by themselves. The depth wasn't really that great. I hope I can I help them out depth-wise and stuff like that.

"They do a good job of getting their athletes in space and everyone touches the ball, it's not just one person. It's about getting the athletes the ball - who's hot and who's not - and whoever's hot gets the ball a lot more."

Of course, while he may have been recruited as a wide receiver, Whiley has also demonstrated the ability to be equally as effective on defense as well. The two-way star recorded 29 tackles with 16 pass deflections, six interceptions, four tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery last season for the Firebirds.

"It's definitely something I could see myself playing," he said. "I've met with Coach Lorig and talked about some third down nickel stuff and if they need help at safety, I can help out too."

With the recruiting process officially over for the local star receiver, Whiley says he can now focus on getting himself prepared for his enrollment at ASU this summer and the start of summer workouts before fall camp.

"It's definitely a school on the rise. They're going to be competing for Rose Bowls every year, so it's just somewhere I want to be and just help them accomplish things that they haven't already.

"It definitely creates high expectations but not really any additional pressure. It makes you want to work harder."

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