They say good things come to those who wait, and Arizona State definitely had to wait for four-star safety K.J. Jarrell.
Seven months ago, three of Jarrell's Saguaro (Scottsdale) teammates committed to the Sun Devils, but the defensive back prospect wasn't quite ready to offer his pledge to ASU and Todd Graham. With a week to go until National Signing Day, the Sun Devils finally received their wish, as Jarrell announced his commitment to ASU.
Jarrell made his announcement at Saguaro High Wednesday, choosing ASU over USC and California.
Jarrell visited ASU officially over the weekend alongside three-star teammates Kyle Soelle, a Devil backer prospect, Corey Stephens, an offensive lineman, and Jared Poplawski, the Sun Devils' lone tight end commit, and a few days later, announced his intention to continue playing alongside his high school teammates at the college level. The trio of Soelle, Stephens, and Poplawski announced their commitments to the Sun Devils together back in June are are now part of one of the most prolific local classes in ASU history.
Jarrell, a four-star defensive back who projects as a Bandit/Spur prospect, is the ninth local player from the state of ASU to commit to the Sun Devils' 2017 recruiting class. Jarrell is the third local four-star recruit to commit to ASU, joining Ryan Kelley, a quarterback out of Basha (Chandler), and Tyler Johnson, a Devil backer product out of Highland (Gilbert).
Jarrell's commitment now gives ASU 15 commitments in its 2017 recruiting class, six of which come from four-star prospects. With Jarrell on board, the average star rating of the Sun Devils' recruits is now 3.40, which ranks just below the program record of 3.43 set back in 2015, when ASU signed nine four-star recruits.
The Sun Devils still have a chance to add to their impressive local haul, as the program is targeting four-star safety Isaiah Pola-Mao, who will choose among ASU, USC and Washington on Friday morning, and five-star offensive tackle Austin Jackson who will decide among the same trio of schools on Signing Day. Since the dawn of the Internet era (2002), ASU has never signed more than 10 local prospects, which it did in the program's first recruiting class under former head coach Dirk Koetter.
The addition of Jarrell now gives ASU three commitments from defensive backs, as he joins four-star cornerback Alex Perry out of Bishop Gorman (Nevada) and three-star safety Ty Thomas, a mid-year enrollee from Cooper High (Texas). The Sun Devils expect to add to their haul of defensive backs over the next week, as the program is still targeting Pola-Mao, four-star Bandit/Spur prospect Evan Fields, four-star cornerbacks Jaylon Johnson, Tareke Lewis, Jhavonte Dean, Brad Stewart, Jaylon Redd, and Todd Harris as well as a handful of three-star defensive backs.
Jarrell is the fifth-ranked safety in the West and the fifth-ranked recruit in the state of Arizona. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect officially visited ASU over the weekend, and subsequently moved up his commitment announcement to Wednesday, eliminating the possibility for a USC or Cal official visit prior to Signing Day.
"It was a great experience, and I really enjoyed getting to meet the new coaches more," Jarrell told Scout.com. "My family had fun and it was just a good experience. I feel very comfortable around the players and that's a big thing. Going to college, that's one of the main things I have high on my list -- I want to feel comfortable with the people I'm with and the coaches I'm around."
Jarrell said that on his visit, ASU's coaches told him he has the versatility to play Bandit safety, field safety and at Spur, and that the coaching staff wants to do what it can to get him on the field as soon as possible.
"They (ASU) are trying to bring in seven defensive backs," Jarrell said. "On the field, they play with three safeties --a boundary safety, a field safety and a Spur safety that's basically a nickel back. They told me I could play any of those positions and they like me at whichever position will get me on the field fastest."