Stuart McNair

Alabama quarterback transfer Blake Barnett commits to Arizona State

Arizona State landed a huge verbal commitment Monday evening as Alabama quarterback transfer Blake Barnett announced via Twitter he is headed to Tempe.

Arizona State went more than four months without receiving a verbal commitment for its 2017 recruiting class.

On Monday night, the drought ended with a major splash, as Alabama quarterback transfer Blake Barnett announced his commitment via Twitter.

Barnett's decision comes immediately following his official visit to ASU which took place over the weekend. Following Barnett's visit, ASU head coach Todd Graham, offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and wide receivers coach Jay Norvell traveled to Barnett's house for an in-home visit on Monday, which also happened to be Graham's birthday.

ASU's head coach received quite the birthday present, as Barnett presented him with a cake announcing his commitment.

Barnett, a former 5-star recruit and the No. 2 overall quarterback recruit from the Class of 2015, transferred out of Alabama after four games this season after true freshman Jalen Hurts asserted himself as the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback.

A 6-foot-5 signal-caller out of Santiago High School (California), Barnett's decision to transfer after four games this season makes him eligible to play after sitting out ASU's first four games in 2017. Had Barnett waited until the conclusion of Alabama's season to transfer, he would not have been eligible to play until 2018.

Barnett will have three years to play out his three remaining seasons of eligibility.

As long as Barnett's academics are in order, he is able to enroll at ASU in January and participate in spring practices with the Sun Devils. 

Barnett started the season opener for the Crimson Tide against USC and completed 5-of-6 passes for 100 yards, but was benched after Alabama's second series and backed up Hurts for the team's next three games.

Barnett's verbal commitment immediately shakes up ASU's quarterback depth chart, which entered the offseason with plenty of question marks.

Sophomore quarterback Manny Wilkins won the Sun Devils' open competition for the starting job in fall camp, but Wilkins played through injuries for much of the season and struggled down the stretch in ASU's six-game losing streak. Wilkins beat out redshirt freshmen Brady White and Bryce Perkins for the starting job, but both White (foot) and Perkins (neck) suffered severe season-ending injuries. 

Following Perkins' injury in August, White's injury in October, and a shoulder injury to Wilkins that occurred in October against Washington State, true freshman Dillon Sterling-Cole made his first career start for the Sun Devils against Oregon. 

Barnett is the second quarterback to offer a verbal commitment to the Sun Devils this recruiting cycle, as he joins local 4-star prospect and Basha High product Ryan Kelley, who has been committed to ASU since May 6. 

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