Player capsule: Davon Durant

Davon Durant became the highest rated player to sign with Arizona State under Todd Graham and is already on campus and available for spring football with a chance to make a major impact at a deficient position in 2014.

Player Capsule: Davon Durant

Position: Devil backer

Eligibility: Redshirt freshman

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 230 pounds

2014 season quick review: Durant became of the top junior college linebacker prospects nationally while at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kansas. He is the first five-star prospect to sign with ASU under coach Todd Graham.

Paul Randolph’s (former Devil backer coach) recent assessment: "Davon is really smart. [He and Ismael Murphy-Richardson] fit our mold of being a football player. They've got high football IQs they can learn and naturally in our system being able to learn and put it and take it to the field I think we've got two guys here in the spring that can do that. I'm excited to see them both turn loose and get going.”

SunDevilSource.com analysis: Durant is the rare athlete who could play SAM, WILL, Spur or Devil in ASU's scheme but is most needed immediately at Devil, where there was a glaring lack of talent and athleticism last season. Durant has remarkable speed and range and is more like a quality NFL outside linebacker prospect than anyone we've seen play at ASU under Todd Graham to this point. We think Durant is overall the best linebacker prospect ASU has signed since Vontaze Burfict.

Durant has played inside or outside depending on scheme and personnel differences from high school to junior college, which speaks to his versatility. He runs sideline to sideline about as well as any inside backer we've seen at ASU in years, can cover backs and tight ends and allows for a lot of different schematic applications, some of which we've probably not yet seen at all at ASU under Graham.

At Devil, Durant should be able to show how well he converts speed to power and bends the edge, something that a similarly sized and relatively athletic Antonio Longino didn't do as well when he played the position early last season before ASU moved him to WILL. There is a violent edge to how Durant plays, like Longino, but Durant has initial quickness that is more like D.J. Calhoun, but in a bigger body type, while Longino is a bit less of explosive, more of a glider.

Durant freelanced too much and didn't have to play in as much structure in junior college as he will in college and it remains to be seen how quickly he'll adapt to that and being comfortable just servicing his role, as well as understanding and quickly implementing game preparation techniques based on film study and opponent tendencies. His key read instincts are really good though, on film, and his athletic tools are excellent, the best Todd Graham has ever coached, he said.

Projected depth chart status: There's no question Durant has a good chance to not only be a starter at Devil backer but also one of the defense's best and most potent athletic weapons. He'll have to stave off well-regarded position-mate Ismael Murphy-Richardson to earn the first-team spot, and that's not a shoo-in but Durant is one of the three best overall prospects in the ASU 2015 signing class per our independent evaluations, and has the spring to get up to speed.


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