Pearl River HC Analyzes Stuckey, Caldwell

Two of the biggest additions, literally and figuratively, to Arizona State's 2014 recruiting class came on National Letter of Intent day itself. Dalvon Stuckey and Darrius Caldwell, both defensive linemen from Pearl River (Miss.) Community College are poised to make immediate impact on the Sun Devils in 2014. Their Pearl River head coach, William Jones, discussed with us that tandem's attributes.

The 6-3 308-pound Dalvon Stuckey is one of the nation's top junior college prospects at his position. He signed with Florida State out of Defuniak Springs (Fla.) Walton Senior High School, yet academics forced him to take the junior college route and enroll at Pearl River. In his two years there he collected 110 tackles including 28 for loss, and ten sacks.

Stuckey had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Louisville, Nebraska and West Virginia among others. He committed both to Miami and Auburn while at his junior college and settled on Arizona State, a school that has only started recruiting him in earnest in mid-January once it was determined that the lineman and Auburn had to part ways over an academic issue.

"He runs very well and changes direction like a much smaller player," Jones said of Stuckey. "He's a player that had enormous ability but he's a great person and a great kid. He's just a phenomenal athlete that should play in the National Football league if he puts it all together.

"He's a tremendous pass rusher. When he gets one-on-one with a guard he can overpower him because he's very explosive and he can set him back three, five yards in the backfield. He also has enough of a twitch about him and quickness that if a player has more power than him he can just go left or right on him and make that guy look bad. He really is the total package."

Sun Devil Head Coach Todd Graham said in his National Letter of Intent press conference that he sees Stuckey as a possible heir apparent to outgoing senior and two-time Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Will Sutton. Jones detailed what techniques Stuckey already possesses that could make that prediction come to fruition.

"He does have to sharpen up his skill set," Jones commented. "You don't have to have but really two signature moves and have counters off of those. You're going to face a basic block or a double team consistently. But you have to know how to play those blocks, and also have a good bull rush.

"If you have all that, you can write your own meal ticket. I think Dalvon has the two moves and as long as he just learns to use those moves and play consistently he'll be fine. He used to a real narrow stance and got knocked off a lot because he was off balance and never had a base to work with. I came in just last year, and we played a Tampa-2 style of defense and had a wide stance so he was playing the blocks better and still getting off the ball quickly. He also used his hands better and that is something else that we pitched to him. His position is about footwork, steps and hand placement. Once he learned all that he became a better player. I think Arizona State is getting a heck of a player and he will only get better."

The 6-6 235-pound Darrius Caldwell is the other Pearl River lineman to join ASU. He originally signed with Illinois out of Atlanta (Ga.) Mays High School as a member of the 2011 class. He redshirted that year and in 2012 Played in all 12 games, totaling 17 tackles, 5.0 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Caldwell transferred to Pearl River for the 2013 season, and had scholarship offers from Louisiana-Lafayette, North Texas, South Alabama, Southern Miss and UAB. He was committed to South Carolina and due to his own academic issue had to part ways with that program. He was recruited by then Illinois's assistant coach and now ASU's assistant coach, Chip Long, and that connection was naturally a significant factor in his recruitment with the Sun Devils.

"He's a tremendous pass rusher," Jones sated. "Probably a better pass rusher than Stuckey and as good of a pass rusher that I have seen in my 20 years. He has football moxie and understands the game. He's able to drop into coverage and had a few interceptions this year. Could have had a couple more that he should have caught. Had a fumble recovery from six yards out for a touchdown. They guy is always around the ball.

"He has an unbelievable ceiling as a rusher. He's going to be a rusher in a 3-4 like a DeMarcus Ware or a Sean Meriweather that could play as a stand up rusher too. We see that a lot in the NFL and to be honest with you he's that type of a rusher."

Recruiting Caldwell to the maroon and gold was done with the thought of landing a replacement to Devil backer Carl Bradford who is entering this year's NFL draft, as well as being a player who could assume a starting role this upcoming season.

This role is one that also requires adequate run support skills, and Jones believes that Caldwell's attributes in that aspect can aid him in those duties in Tempe.

"He plays the run fine," Jones remarked. "He uses his hands well and has good leverage. He was a very refined player when we got him from Illinois. He's a good kid that has continued to improve and if I had to choice to add him and Stuckey again to my team I would do it.

"They are good people in the locker room, good people on the football field. They keep it fun and enjoyable. They always have smiles on their face and are ‘Yes Sir, No Sir' types of kids."

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