2016 Bandit/Spur ASU roster, recruiting overview

Arizona State has landed four commits in the 2016 class from players we project to play cornerback or field safety but no Bandit or Spur commits. How's it look at recruiting at the positions heading into the stretch run of the cycle?

The Spur position was a revolving door in Todd Graham's first three seasons at Arizona State until junior Laiu Moeakiola settled in and became a multi-year starter and one of the team's better defensive players. Moeakiola still has one season of eligibility but the Sun Devils are looking to the future in their attempts to have quality options waiting in the wings. 

Additionally, with Moeakiola’s durability a concern because of a chronic shoulder injury, the Sun Devils need to develop good depth at Spur for the 2016 season. Sophomore Marcus Ball, sophomore James Johnson, redshirt freshman Das Tautalatasi, redshirt freshman Jamal Scott and sophomore DeAndre Scott have all received reps at the position in practice among returning players. 

Ball has perhaps the highest ceiling of the backups and flashed big play ability when he was thrust into the lineup against Washington this year. Johnson has played at field, Bandit and Spur safety positions. Spur is probably his best fit due to range limitations in coverage, but Bandit is an option. Scott is more of special teams player who lacks desirable size the position. Tautalatasi could be someone who emerges at the position and is the most Moeakiola-like. Jamal Scott is an intriguing option and has impressed in bowl practices with his mobility at his size. He is probably better suited to play the SAM or WILL spots but the Sun Devils are deep at both of those positions.

Bandit safety has been a strength for ASU under Graham. Alden Darby played well at the position before moving on to the NFL. Outgoing senior Jordan Simone was a productive player in his two-year stint as a starter, among the top solo tacklers in the Pac-12. It's unclear who will replace him next season, with multiple players getting game reps at the position after Simone was lost for the season with a knee injury against Cal. 

Sophomores Chad Adams Johnson and freshman Kareem Orr have all seen time at Bandit and have a chance to impress during the Bowl practices with Simone out. Sophomore Armand Perry had a promising start to the season with the first-team at field safety but got knocked out for the year in the non-conference schedule with an ankle injury. He'll be a likely starter in 2016 at either field or Bandit safety, with Orr the most probable starter next to him, though it's fluid enough that a lot could happen. 

ASU currently has four commits who are cornerbacks or field safeties but none who are Bandit/Spur prospects based on how we've divided the groups. There's less of a need at Bandit/Spur based on the glut of players returning, but ASU could use one addition at each spot. 

ASU is currently targeting no fewer than four prospects who project to either Spur or Bandit. Oklahoma four-star prospect Calvin Bundage is a physical player and is an ideal fit for the hybrid safety/linebacker position because of his ability to cover and play physically at the line of scrimmage. He recently officially visited ASU but the Sun Devils face a lot of competition for his commitment.

Four-star Lamar Jackson is one of the most impressive prospects in the West. He is being recruited by most schools at safety but figures to have the size and frame to grow into a hybrid linebacker at a minimum. He seems to be favoring USC at the moment but did officially visit ASU earlier this fall and does have the Sun Devils under serious consideration.

Louisiana prospect Nehemiah Augustus is a more of a Spur prospect than a Bandit, he has been flying under the radar for the most part. He has been high on Nebraska for a while now and was being recruited to ASU by former offensive coordinator Mike Norvell. He could be someone ASU brings in for an official visit.

Kamari Pleasant first Pac-12 offer came from ASU this fall and he's in between a Bandit and Spur, probably will wind up at the latter over time. He has not made any official visits yet and if the Sun Devils miss on Bundage or Jackson, he could become a top priority for ASU. 

Priority Targets

Sun Devil Source Top Stories