Ideal scholarship roster number: 15
Potential returning number (from 2015): 11 (Stephon McCray, Evan Goodman, Connor Humphreys, Quinn Bailey, Sam Jones, Steve Miller, Cade Cote, Zach Robertson, Dillon Faamatau, Mason Walter, Corey Smith)
Likely returning number: 11
Signees: 5 (Tyson Rising (spring), Marshal Nathe (spring), Cohl Cabral, A.J. McCollum, Alex Losoya)
Walk-on who could receive scholarship: Tyler McClure
Remaining ideal number: 0
The Skinny: By adding scholarship 10 players over the last two classes (five in each of 2015 and 2016), Arizona State has replenished its offensive line and will now enter the 2016 season with a surplus of players at the position.
The addition of Orange Coast College guard Alex Losoya gives the Sun Devils three junior college players in the 2016 class. He joins tackle/guard Tyson Rising, who participated with ASU in spring football, and A.J. McCollum, who was in Tempe for much of the spring but not yet cleared to practice.
ASU is replacing four scholarship starters along the offensive front from last season, and that's a big reason for the three junior college additions. The first string offensive line actually looked relatively promising in spring football, even with walk-on Tyler McClure at center, but at depth there is a lot of inexperienced youth.
With room under the 85 scholarship limit in May, Losoya is a good hedge against injury, considering the reserves who'd currently likely be pressed into action are redshirt freshmen Zach Robertson and Steve Miller. At guard, it looks as though senior Stephon McCray and sophomore Sam Jones are relatively solidified as starters, but if someone goes down it creates some uncertainty, particularly if Robertson or Miller is needed at right tackle, where sophomore Quinn Bailey is currently penciled in.
Losoya is also young and inexperienced, but he gives the Sun Devils one more competitive option at guard, and has value in that regard because he's a four-for-three player with a redshirt year available to him. If everyone stays healthy, he can perhaps be banked for the future, with McCray playing his last season of eligibility.
As a high school qualifier at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, Losoya didn't have scholarship offers exiting high school and instead made his way to nearby Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. This was a savvy move by Losoya because he was coached at the school by OCC offensive line coach and former Los Angeles Rams six-time NFL pro-bowl center Doug Smith.
Losoya said he took more ownership of his recruitment, getting active on social media and engaging with coaches and it brought a slew of college coaches to the school and led to scholarship offers this year from Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Missouri, Texas Tech and others, in addition to ASU. If Losoya had stayed another year at OCC, he likely would have been one of the most in-demand junior college guard prospects in the West in the 2017 class. As it is though, Losoya visited Arkansas and Auburn but ultimately chose to play for ASU offensive line coach Chris Thomsen and the Sun Devils.
A pure guard who plays with a real edge of toughness, the 6-foot-4, 295 pound Losoya uses a good combination of awareness and mobility to locate and get on range blocks. He works through combos and even isolation to climb to the second level effective and really hunts smaller defenders in space on the move and uses good technique and timing when getting off his feet to finish these plays.
Losoya has just decent set up posture, a little high through the trunk, but releases well and usually beats opponents to the spot with quickness and anticipation. He remains active through engagement and this is where the chip on his shoulder that he plays with really shows up on film, as he finishes quite a few of these plays for a junior college level with the defensive linemen on the ground.
Even though he has good visual awareness and does reasonable well with cross-face blocks, at times Losoya can can be susceptible to speed attacks in his gap via stunts and linebacker pops. But he has moderate to good strength for his age and tends to not get jostled around or disengaged. He's relatively compact releasing off the ball and when he's out and moving, and is well suited in that regard for the zone style blocking of ASU's offense.
OCC uses a lot of 2-point set ups in offense for linemen and Losoya's going to want to keep working on joint mobility and leverage immediately post-snap, which could be an issue against quick interior pass rushers.
Overall, this is a very reasonable move by ASU and a player whose caliber is not easy to come by this late in a recruiting cycle.null