2014 Fall Arrivals: Where Do They Fit?

With spring practice come and gone, now is as good of a time as ever to discuss the expected position battles and depth chart openings that will take place when the rest of the 2014 recruiting class arrives in Tempe over the next few months. Here are our projections based on the spring performance of the current players and the anticipated impact of the 20 plus newcomers joining the Sun Devils.

Defensive Line

Post-Spring Depth Chart

Tiger – Jaxon Hood (Jr.) / Demetrius Cherry (RS-Jr.)/ Corey Smith (RS-Fr.)

Nose – Mo Latu (RS-Jr.)/Zach Abdorrahimzadeh (Jr.)*

End – Marcus Hardison (Sr.)/ Edmond Boateng (RS-So.)

Fall Arrivals

Connor Humphreys(Nose)

Tashon Smallwood (Nose/Tiger)

Dalvon Stuckey (JC transfer) (Tiger)

Renell Wren (End)


Even though the defense as a whole did come on quite strongly in the later part of spring practice, the defensive line is a group that in destined to receive quite the makeover in the two-deep since none of its members exactly wowed with their play during the 15 sessions that ended last Saturday.

Hardison is the only returning player that stands the greatest chance of keeping his starting job. Granted, at the end position he didn't face much competition with mid-year transfer Boateng who was experiencing the normal learning curve of a newcomer, yet Hardison if nothing else should be a solid contributor as long as the level of expectations placed on him is no greater than any of his other teammates. Now Wren is a very intriguing prospect just by his sheer 6-5 255-pound frame but his chances of seeing playing time are perhaps more contingent on Boateng's rate of development than anything else.

We mentioned in our video recap piece that Hood was one of the most disappointing players in the spring, albeit being hampered with various injuries, a factor that affected his play greatly last season as well. Regardless of the reasons, there is no question that Hood's level of play isn't close to that of his freshman All-American level from 2012 and you wonder if he will ever regain that form. For good or for bad, he was never seriously pushed by Cherry and Smith who backed him up and neither member of that duo had a memorable spring. Therefore, these circumstances pave the road for Stuckey, who arrives in Tempe with quite a list of accolades, to claim the starting job and for Smallwood to possibly leapfrog the three returning players here and become a two-deep resident.

Latu's play in the spring wasn't below average, but as long as he continues to battle his conditioning and play 40 or so pounds above the more effective 330 lbs. frame the coaches desire for him, it may be hard to see him successfully hold back a very talented newcomer in Humphreys who among the incoming true freshmen is one that is all but locked not to redshirt. The nose position is another role Smallwood could make an impact in, but overall while not a certainty to redshirt his chances of seeing the field are probably less than those of Humphreys.

2014 Predictions

Starter – Marcus Hardison

Starter – Dalvon Stuckey

Possible Starter/Top Reserve – Mo Latu

Possible Starter/Top Reserve - Connor Humphreys

Reserve – Jaxon Hood

Reserve – Corey Smith

Reserve - Demetrius Cherry

Reserve – Edmond Boateng

Redshirt\ Reserve – Tashon Smallwood

Redshirt\ Reserve - Renell Wren


Post-Spring Depth Chart

SPUR– Viliami Moeakiola (RS-So.) OR Marcus Washington (RS-Sr.)

SAM – Salamo Fiso (RS-So.)/ Alani Latu (RS-Fr.)

DEVIL– Eriquel Florence (RS-Jr.) / Viliami Latu (So.) / Chans Cox (RS-Fr.)

WILL – D.J. Calhoun (Fr.) OR Antonio Longino (RS-Jr.)

Fall Arrivals

(pictured) Darrius Caldwell (JC Transfer) (DEVIL)

Ismael Murphy-Richardson (DEVIL) Jamal Scott (SPUR)

Christian Sam (SPUR)


The SAM and WILL roles were some of the defensive positions that preformed quite well in the spring. As one of only two returning starters on defense, Fiso was able to generally be at the forefront of the overall improved level of play this side of the ball exhibited in the last 2-3 weeks of spring. Nonetheless, his experience didn't always result in consistent play. Much like Hardison, he's another player that shouldn't be too concerned with losing his first team role once the 2014 season starts as an inexperienced Alani Latu, while improved from last year, is definitely still learning the ropes.

The WILL position has quality depth with freshman Calhoun who for the most part hit the ground running as a 17-year old mid-year transfer who is already drawing comparisons to the two players who preceded him at that position: Brandon Magee and Chris Young. Longino is one player that the coaches really thought would be an absolute spring stud, yet he did relinquish his starting role to Calhoun. That's not to say that Longino was a pure disappointment and that he doesn't stand a chance of reclaiming that starter role, but his quest to do so is going to be harder than anyone would have predicted even just a couple of months ago.

It may be just sheer coincidence that newcomers at linebacker represent the two roles that need the most help at: Spur and Devil. The former role is less problematic in comparison yet one that still presents some concerns. Moeakiola probably finished spring practice on a much stronger note that he started it, but then again you can probably say that about every member of the defense. Washington moved over here from his tight end position and proved to be not only a quality backup but a serious contender in fall camp to capture a starting position.

That tandem will not only battle each other, but also a duo of very talented true freshman in Sam and Scott. Scott is the more physical of the two, while Sam technique wise is more polished. Both could avoid redshirt snot only because of their play at Spur but also due to special teams roles. Carlos Mendoza has seemingly been battling a plethora of various injuries ever since arriving in Tempe and his bad luck continued in the spring. When healthy he could see some time at Spur but until he gets the full green light such a projection would be nothing but speculation.

While no one is surprised that the team is struggling to fill the huge void Carl Bradford left behind at the Devil backer position, it's still not comforting that three players have tried their hand this spring and none of them has truly put those worries to rest. Now even though Viliami Latu is showing as a second teamer on the depth chart, he probably is the clubhouse leader for the starting role. Florence, who moved here following Latu's late spring concussion and the ongoing struggles Cox was experiencing, didn't do enough yet to show that he can be penciled in as a backup let alone get the lion share of reps here.

Therefore, much like his junior college teammate, Dalvon Stuckey, Darrius Caldwell is another fall arrival that if nothing else is in a great position to be a starter for the 2014 season. Granted, this is a role that is more demanding than many others on the ASU defense, but hard to believe that Caldwell isn't capable of making his presence known here.

Murphy-Richardson is one of the most intriguing newcomers and will also battle for the Devil backer role. However, we don't anticipate him being heavily in the mix until the 2015 season unless the returning players truly regressed from their spring form.

2014 Predictions

Starter – D.J. Calhoun

Starter – Salamo Fiso

Starter - Viliami Moeakiola

Possible Starter/Top Reserve – Darrius Caldwell

Possible Starter/Top Reserve – Marcus Washington

Possible Starter/Top Reserve – Viliami Latu

Possible Starter/Top Reserve – Antonio Longino

Reserve - Eriquel Florence

Reserve - Alani Latu

Reserve – Chans Cox

Reserve – Carlos Mendoza

Reserve/ Redshirt – Christian Sam

Reserve/ Redshirt – Jamal Scott

Defensive Back

Post-Spring Depth Chart

BC – Rashad Wadood (RS-Jr.) / William Earley (RS-Fr.) / Marcus-Melhof-Brown (Jr.) *

FC – Lloyd Carrington (RS-Jr.) / Solomon Means (RS-Jr.)

FS – Damarious Randall (Sr.)/ James Johnson (RS-Fr.)

BS – Marcus Ball (RS-Fr.) OR Jordan Simone (RS-Jr.)*

BC – boundary corner, BS - boundary safety, FC – field corner, FS – field safety


Fall Arrivals

(pictured) Kweishi Brown (JC transfer) (BC)

Das Tautalatasi (FS)

Armand Perry (FS\BS)

DeAndre Scott (FC\BC)

Chad Adams (BC\BS)


The field side of this group is locked down with Carrington at corner and Randall at safety, who both had a great spring and quickly put to rest any starting position battle question some may have had coming into spring. Their backups Means and Johnson, while in no position to leapfrog them, proved to be above average backups. Das Tautalatasi is in all likelihood destined to a redshirt due to depth here.

Boundary safety presents an interesting position battle between Marcus Ball, who hasn't practiced full contact since fall camp and Washington State transfer walk-on Jordan Simone who backed up all the pre-spring buzz he was generating. As talented as Ball is the rust he needs to shake off could prove to be too much as he tries to unseat Simone, but we fully expect him to be at the two-deep. This is another must-see competition in fall camp.

Jayme Otomewo, Ezekiel Bishop, and Luke Williams appear all but a guaranteed to see much more time on special teams than at safety and that could also increase the chances that both Armand Perry and Deandre Scott redshirt.

Boundary corner may just be another role waiting to be assumed by a JC transfer, in this case Kweishi Brown who aside from experience brings a physical presence that the ASU corners unit hasn't see in a while. The often injured Wadood had an up and down spring, but could still hang on to his starting role especially if Brown takes longer than expected to acclimate himself with the scheme. Walk-on Ronnie Sellers has been one of the more consistent players in recent weeks and it wouldn't come as a shock if he did figure in the two-deep at corner. William Earley struggled quite a bit in spring and won't be a factor in the two-deep. Chad Adams could avoid a redshirt but more due to his punt/kick return skills than cornerback duties.

2014 Predictions

Starter - Lloyd Carrington

Starter - Damarious Randall

Possible Starter/Top Reserve - Kweishi Brown

Possible Starter/Top Reserve – Rashad Wadood

Possible Starter/Top Reserve – Marcus Ball

Possible Starter/Top Reserve – Jordan Simone

Reserve - Ezekiel Bishop

Reserve - Jayme Otomewo

Reserve - Luke Williams

Reserve - James Johnson

Reserve - Solomon Means

Reserve - William Earley

Likely Reserve – Chad Adams

Likely Redshirt – Armand Perry

Likely Redshirt – Deandre Scott

Likely Redshirt - Das Tautalatasi

Running Back

Post-Spring Depth Chart

D.J. Foster (Jr.)/Deantre Lewis (RS-Sr.)/ Kyle Middlebrooks (RS-Sr.)

Fall Arrivals

Kalen Ballage

(pictured) DeChavon Hayes (JC transfer)

Demario Richard


Despite Foster being the undisputed starter here, there is no doubt that this position is the most intriguing one to figure out when you take in consideration the three extremely talented tailbacks joining Arizona State in the summer. Furthermore, Middlebrooks' spring performance was one of the most impressive ones on either side of the ball for the Sun Devils and the senior is certainly not going to give up his well earned depth chart position without a fight. Granted, Lewis' amount of reps and subsequent play was affected by Middlebrooks but his spring game display showed that it may be a little too early to bury him way down the depth chart.

So where does that leave the three new additions? We expect Hayes not only to avoid a redshirt but be the proverbial utility player that will see considerable time at the 2 (aka slot) receiver and even more so as a returner on special teams. At 6-3 215 lbs. I don't know how the coaches can keep a player such as Ballage on the sidelines the entire season, because in theory a clear mismatch for any defense trying to stop this brute, yet quick, running back. And then you have Demario Richard whose running style may be different than any other of his teammates and could eventually be inserted in many of the short yardage situations.

The old football cliché says that you can never have enough running backs. Nonetheless, the ASU staff will have quite the headache, albeit a very healthy one, if all three newcomers truly shine in fall camp making the decision to redshirt one of them extremely challenging. We think that ultimately it may be hard to play both incoming freshmen but it's anybody guess right now who will be the one on hiatus in 2014.

2014 Predictions

Starter - D.J. Foster

Top Reserve - De'Chavon Hayes

Reserve - Kyle Middlebrooks

Reserve - Deantre Lewis

Reserve or Redshirt - Kalen Ballage

Reserve or Redshirt - Demario Richard

Wide Receiver

Post-Spring Depth Chart

X/9-receiver – Jaelen Strong (RS-Jr.)/Ellis Jefferson (RS-Fr.)

Y/5-receiver – Gary Chambers (RS-Jr.) OR Cameron Smith (So.)

Z/2-receiver – Fredrick Gammage (RS-So.)*/ Ronald Lewis (RS-Fr.)


Fall Arrivals

(pictured) Eric Lauderdale (JC transfer)

Jalen Harvey

Tyler Whiley


Even though this group overall is one of the more talented ones on the team, there is still quite a bit to figure out in terms of depth chart, and some of those talented new arrivals won't make those decisions any easier.

While this is obviously no breaking news, Strong's starting status isn't in doubt at the end of spring practice. His first team comrades though will face a stiff challenge to say the least in August.

Jefferson despite playing behind Strong, may have been the top receiver in spring proving that the flashes we saw from him in last year's fall camp were anything but an aberration. He is guaranteed to see more than a couple of reps each game, and the only question may be if he does he line up at other receiver positions, although not unseating Strong and his starter status in the process, to maximize his reps.

Chambers was able to hang onto his starting role during spring practice and is definitely playing his best football since arriving here in the 2011 recruiting class. While Cameron Smith had somewhat of a roller coaster performance in the last 15 sessions, he could unseat Chambers come fall camp and his playing experience last year could aid in that goal. Having said all that, the highly touted Lauderdale could very well be the starter here when the 2014 season kicks off. Ever since he signed his Letter of Intent with the school, the prospect of him lining up alongside Strong is a scenario that has ignited the imagination of probably every member of the coaching staff, if not truly excited the ASU fan base at large. While Lauderdale is guaranteed not to redshirt, his chances of starting while not dim at all may be less certain to some extent as they were prior to spring in light of Chambers' play and Smith's potential.

Gammage is another starter who faces uncertainty as a full-time starter. While the erratic Lewis is less of a threat, the aforementioned Hayes, despite being listed as a running back, could surely make a dent if nothing else in the amount of Gammage's gameday reps. Harvey and Whiley could also figure in the mix here, as well as other receiver positions for that matter, just one more aspect that makes the competition at wide receiver one that will be closely followed come fall camp.

2014 Predictions

Starter - Jaelen Strong

Possible Starter/Top Reserve - Gary Chambers

Possible Starter/Top Reserve - Eric Lauderdale

Possible Starter/Top Reserve - Fredrick Gammage

Possible Starter/Top Reserve – Ellis Jefferson

Reserve – Cameron Smith

Reserve – Ronald Lewis

Reserve or Redshirt – Jalen Harvey

Reserve or Redshirt – Tyler Whiley

Tight End/3-Back

Post-Spring Depth Chart

TE – De'Marieya Nelson (RS-Sr.)/ Grant Martinez (RS-Fr.) Fall Arrivals

Brendan Landman


This is one position begging for depth and that could very well help Landman's chances to play as a freshman. Nelson didn't overly impress as a starter in spring but conversely did nothing to lose his starting job. Martinez was undoubtedly one the brighter spots on offense and his solid receiving skills were manifested early and often in the spring. Kody Kohl has been battling injuries for a while now and the fact that he was held out of contact in the spring makes any depth chart projection for him nearly impossible at this juncture.

2014 Predictions

Starter – Nelson

Top Reserve – Martinez

Reserve – Kohl

Reserve – Washington

Likely Reserve – Landman

Offensive Line

Post-Spring Depth Chart

LT – Jamil Douglas (RS-Sr.)/Evan Goodman (RS-So.)

LG – Christian Westerman (RS-Jr.)/Stephon McCray (RS-So.)

C – Nick Kelly (Jr.)/ Stephon McCray (RS-So.)

RG – Vi Teofilo (RS-Jr.)/ Devin Goodman (RS-Jr.)

RT –Tyler Sulka (RS-Sr.)/Billy McGehee (RS-Jr.)

Fall Arrivals

Quinn Bailey (OT)

(pictured) Sam Jones (OG/OT)


Much has been said about the improved depth this group has showcased in the spring, seemingly not missing a beat at all after losing two starters from the 2013 squad. While some may have raised an eyebrow over the fact that Westerman, arguably the best lineman of the bunch, starting out on the second team, it took but a couple weeks for the transfer from Auburn to cement himself in the starting five. This move came at the expense of Evan Goodman who prior to spring was believed to have turned the corner and be poised to establish himself as a starter at left tackle, just to be plagued by inconsistency once again and finishing himself as a reserve once again yielding the role to Douglas.

McCray, perhaps the biggest testament to the depth at offensive line, pushed Kelly at center yet hasn't been able to beat him out for the starting center job. Sulka, Douglas and Teofilo preformed well as the three returning starters granting stability and leadership.

While it's a virtual given that every true freshman offensive lineman is destined to redshirt in his first year, we have been hearing that Sam Jones may just buck that trend and his ability to play on the edge as well as the interior could aid him in his challenge to earn a spot in the two-deep. Bailey is more likely to go the redshirt route.

2014 Predictions

Starters - Douglas, Westerman, Kelly, Teofilo and Sulka

Top Reserves - McCray and E.Goodman

Reserves – D.Goodman, McGhee, Jack Powers Reserve or Redshirt - Sam Jones

Likely Redshirt – Quinn Bailey


Post-Spring Depth Chart

Taylor Kelly (RS-Sr.)/Mike Bercovici (RS-Jr.)

Fall Arrivals

Coltin Gerhart

Manny Wilkins


The depth chart at signal caller didn't change following the off-season departure of Michael Eubank. Bercovici's solid spring performance drew a lot of praise from coaches and observers alike and he has certainly closed the gap between him and Kelly more than ever before. Barring unforeseen circumstances though Kelly will be the starter this season.

While Arizona State is bringing in two freshman quarterbacks, in Gerhart and Wilkins, and it is tempting to play one of them and create an eligibility gap so to speak, and the fact that one of them is virtually guaranteed to back up expected starter Bercovici in 2015, it still would be quite the surprise to see either newcomer take the field during the season.

2014 Predictions

Starter - Taylor Kelly

Reserve - Mike Bercovici

Likely Redshirt - Coltin Gerhart

Likely Redshirt - Manny Wilkins

Special Teams

Post-Spring Depth Chart

KO – Alex Garoutte (RS-Jr.)/ Zane Gonzalez (So.)

PAT – Zane Gonzalez (So.)/ Alex Garoutte (RS-Jr.)

FG – Zane Gonzalez (So.)/ Alex Garoutte (RS-Jr.)

P – Matt Haack (So.)

LS – Easton Wahlstrom (Jr.) OR Donnie Shields (Jr.)

H – Mike Bercovici (RS-Jr.) / Alex Garoutte (RS-Jr.)

KR - Kyle Middlebrooks (RS-Sr.)/ Damarious Randall (Sr.)

PR - Kyle Middlebrooks (RS-Sr.)/ Damarious Randall (Sr.)


Even though Gonzalez has a very average spring we expect him to bounce back in fall camp and hold off any charge Garoutte would mount. We predicted Haack prior to spring to be one of the surprise players and reclaim his starting punting duties and sure enough he did exactly that.

Hayes and Adams are two newcomers we figure will get a long look at punt/kick return.

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