Austin Jackson (© AAG)

Arizona State 2017 priority recruiting targets: Offensive Line

Arizona State has one interior offensive line commit, Corey Stephens, and is in pursuit of several high profile players at the position led by Austin Jackson.

Arizona State’s offensive line loses two seniors, starting left tackle Evan Goodman and right guard Stephon McCray. The Sun Devils are set to return 12 scholarship offensive linemen next season, only one of whom -- center A.J. McCollum -- will be a senior. 

Hampered by injuries, the Sun Devils had eight different linemen start this year in what was a difficult season for a group that is young, overall. ASU gave up more sacks than any other Pac-12 team and finished 11th in rushing yards per play.

Left guard Sam Jones who will be a junior in 2017, and McCollum are the only returning starters with defined positions, but even that's not set in stone. Junior-to-be Quinn Bailey started every game at either right tackle or right guard and will start at one of those spots next year. True freshman Cohl Cabral was used as a long snapper and as blocking tight end. He projects to left tackle but has enough versatility to play all five spots.

Zach Robertson and Steve Miller experienced some growing pains in their redshirt freshmen seasons but both have a lot of potential and figure to battle for starting spots next season. Robertson was a sometimes-starter at right tackle in 2016 and Miller filled in at guard when needed. 

Offensive tackle is the biggest need to be addressed in this class. ASU has struggled to land four-star or better true offensive tackle prospects going back to the Dirk Koetter era. It has very little in the way of true offensive tackles on its roster. 

Phoenix North Canyon’s Austin Jackson is one of the best tackle prospects in the country and considered among the best Arizona prospects of the last decade. He visited ASU officially last week and the Sun Devils appear to be a strong contender for his pledge. USC and Washington are also seriously under consideration, however. 

The Sun Devils have worked very hard on 6-foot-7 Aaron Banks, who plays at the same Bay Area high school, El Cerrito, as current ASU players D.J. Calhoun and Jalen Harvey. Banks has been to ASU several times and is expected to be visited by offensive line coach Chris Thomsen on Thursday. His college announcement is set for the following day, on Friday, and Michigan and Notre Dame appear to be the most likely destinations. 

Jalen McKenzie remains on the ASU board, but just by a thread. The Concord (California) Clayton Valley High prospect is very unlikely to end up in Tempe, with very strong family ties to Tennessee.  

Chaffey College (Rancho Cucamonga, California) 6-foot-7 offensive tackle Ronald Rudd is committed to UCLA but expected to visit ASU officially this weekend. He's the lone junior college offensive lineman ASU appears to be seriously pursuing at this time. There is a possibility the Sun Devils could get more involved with Oregon commit John Vaka out of Diablo Valley College (Pleasant Hill, California) due to the coaching change there. College of San Mateo offensive tackle George Moore, currently committed to Washington State, is a player ASU could try to get more involved with. 

ASU has one interior offensive line prospect committed, Saguaro’s Corey Stephens. It will look to probably add two or three offensive line prospects in this class total and the others it signs have to be able to play tackle because that's the biggest need moving forward. There's a real possibility ASU only adds one one offensive tackle in addition to Stephens, as other position needs could take priority. 

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