Arizona State hasn't had a quintessential Devil backer since Carl Bradford, even though Antonio Longino performed effectively as a senior and led the Pac-12 last season in sacks and tackles-for-loss. ASU has recruited several highly ranked prospects to the position, including several junior college prospects, but the position is still a question mark headed into the 2016 season because a few of the high profile signees in recent years either never enrolled or didn't stick on the team.
2016 junior college signee Doug Subtly is still taking classes with hopes of enrolling in August. His status is undetermined at the moment but whether he qualifies or not, the Sun Devils need to build depth at the position for the long term. We expect ASU to sign at least two Devil backer prospects in 2017.
ASU currently has committed Devil backer, Loren Mondy, though he could play inside linebacker or even defensive end. There's a lot of local talent here and ASU's offered four Arizona high school prospects who project to the position.
Loren Mondy has been committed to Arizona State since July of 2013. His father played for Todd Graham and Mondy seems to be pretty firm in his pledge to ASU. He has been a productive pass rusher at the high school level but his frame could eventually push him to play as hand-down defensive lineman as he progresses at the college level.
Four-star prospect K'Lavon Chaisson is a long shot prospect for the Sun Devils at this point. The No. 58 overall ranked recruit in the 2017 class is favoring LSU and most likely ends up with an SEC or Big-12 program on signing day.
Jalen Harris is a two-way prospect who projects to Devil backer for the Sun Devils. Harris had an impressive 2015 season, totaling 17.5 sacks on 70 tackles and three forced fumbles. He also had 50 catches for 757 yards and five touchdowns as a receiver for the Jaguars. He is the son of former Arizona and Chicago Bears linebacker Sean Harris.
Addison Gumbs is Scout.com’s No. 1 ranked outside linebacker in the West. He is expected to make a decision in June but Arizona State is trailing schools such as Oregon, UCLA, USC, Washington and Oklahoma as he leads up to his commitment date.
Odua Isibor is the first major college football recruit from Phoenix St Mary’s in several years. The 6-foot-5 215 pound prospect plays basketball as well. He has reportedly added offers from national programs USC, Oregon and Texas A&M. Arizona, ASU, Colorado, Iowa State and Kansas State are his other Power-5 conference offers.
California recruit D.J. Johnson claims over 50 scholarship offers. ASU is trails several programs such as Ole Miss, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, UCLA and USC. He has said he plans on making all five official visits before making a decision in January.
Tempe High three-star prospect My-King Johnson has grown up in the shadow of Sun Devil Stadium as an ASU fan. He was credited with 79 tackles including 23 for loss and 13.5 sacks last season as a junior. Arizona is the only other Power-5 conference offer he claims at this time. The Sun Devils are in a pretty good position in this recruitment.
Robert Pocher IV, the son of Robert Porcher, a former star along the defensive line for the Detroit Lions claims over 30 offers has he continues to rise on recruiting lists. As a junior he had 92 tackles, 11 sacks and 32 tackles for loss. He maintains no favorites at this time but sounds like he could be cutting his list soon. A move to defensive end is possible.
Saguaro prospect Kyle Soelle was offered by ASU in May. He is another local prospect with strong ties to the Sun Devils, with a grandfather who has been a longtime season ticket holder. He now has offers from ASU, Cal and Utah, plus almost all of the Mountain West Schools, In total he said he has 16 scholarships, with Oregon and Washington also keeping close tabs, among other programs.
Arizona State is in Chase Young’s top-15. The No. 3 ranked defensive end in the country comes from the same high school has the Sun Devils' 2016 cornerback signee Robbie Robinson. The Sun Devils face a lot of competition as Young is considering schools such as Alabama, Ohio State and USC.