Arizona State's Devil backer position has proven to be one of the most productive defensive roles in the Pac-12 since Todd Graham took over the program in 2012.
Carl Bradford was among the best and most productive pass rushers in the league in 2012 and 2013 and in 2015, senior Antonio Longino led the Pac-12 in sacks and tackles-for-loss (and yet somehow didn't get honored as first or second team all-conference).
Longino isn't the quintessential three-point speed rusher that ASU would like to have at Devil and yet he was able to perform at a high level even though he may have been better suited for an inside linebacker role.
For the Sun Devils to be more capable pressuring with four defenders, they've endeavored to increase their roster's athleticism at Devil backer in the 2016 recruiting class.
With Longino leaving, redshirt freshman Ismael Murphy-Richardson and true freshman Bo Wallace are the best suited to play the role among returners. Murphy-Richardson played behind Longino this season and had good results for a young player. As he gets bigger, stronger and more skilled he'll only improve. Wallace is redshirting and needs to add size, but has a great frame and is the right type of athlete for the role.
The Sun Devils received a commitment from elite four-star Victor Valley (Calif.) junior college prospect Dougladson Subtyl in October. Subtyl finished No. 1 in the state in sacks this season at the junior college level and may have any even higher ceiling than Bradford.
At 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, Subtyl brings the type of explosiveness of the edge that ASU has lacked since Bradford but with more size/length. He said he's benched 375 pounds and squatted roughly 500. He also claims to have run a 4.5 second 40-yard dash when at 230-pound range. He has only played football for three years.
Even after securing Subtyl, ASU continued to pursue and eventually land a commitment from another four-star junior college pass rusher, Koron Crump. The Fort Scott (Kan.) standout had double-digit sacks in each of his two seasons at the school. He is lighter, at 220 pounds, and may initially be a sub-package pass rusher who played on nickel downs along with one or more of the aforementioned players. Crump could play several positions in addition to Devil backer.
There is perhaps an outside chance ASU ends up hosting Nebraska commit and high school teammate of running back prospect Kareem Walker, Quayshon Alexander.
But odds are good ASU's done at Devil backer, and it's a position group that looks to be in good shape heading into 2016.