Gerard Martinez |

Where Arizona State stands with its top recruiting targets

With one week remaining until National Signing Day, Arizona State is still in contention for a number of high-profile recruiting targets, especially defensive backs.

Editor's Note: For a comprehensive analysis of how the 2017 Arizona State recruiting class is taking shape, check out SunDevilSource's latest "War Room" update which provides in-depth details regarding each individual recruitment. 

With just 14 recruits currently committed to Arizona State in the 2017 recruiting class, the final week leading up to National Signing Day figures to be one of the most tense offseason stretches for the Sun Devils in recent memory.

The Sun Devils hope to sign somewhere between 21 and 23 recruits on February 1, and with five four-star prospects already on board, ASU has a chance to threaten some of its most impressive program recruiting records.

In 2015, head coach Todd Graham signed nine four-star recruits and compiled a class with an average star-rating of 3.43, and right now, the Sun Devils are still in position to challenge those record-setting marks. 

However, because ASU has positioned itself to compete for some of the nation's top recruits, the Sun Devils could also wind up striking out, watching as a promising close to the cycle combusts in flames. 

As other programs continue to pick up commitments from priority targets, the Sun Devils have fallen in the Scout recruiting rankings, currently checking in with the No. 47-rated class nationally. 

Though many of the prospects the Sun Devils have high hopes of landing are still undecided, it doesn't change the fact that only Stanford, Clemson and Texas Christian have fewer commits on board than ASU among teams placing in the top-50 of the Scout rankings. 

At this point, ASU is done hoping it closes out the final week of the recruiting cycle on a high note. The Sun Devils know that purely from a numbers standpoint, they need to finish strong.

Under Graham, the previous four ASU recruiting classes all ranked in the top 30 of the final Scout team rankings, with his lone class outside the top 30 coming in 2012, his first season with the program when ASU's haul ranked 43rd nationally. 

Over the next week, ASU will find out exactly how it handled the 2017 recruiting cycle. The Sun Devils could wind up loading up on four-star defensive backs and finishing with the top local recruiting class in program history, or they could just as easily crash and burn, missing out on potential difference-makers and immediate impact contributors. 

Where does ASU stand with its remaining targets? SunDevilSource has individual updates on the priority prospects still considering signing with ASU.

Austin JacksonJackson visited ASU unofficially over the weekend in lieu of having Graham in for a final home visit. The five-star offensive tackle prospect out of North Canyon (Phoenix) is the highest-rated prospect in the state of Arizona, and told SunDevilSource that he will announce his commitment on Signing Day at his high school. Jackson is choosing among ASU, USC and Washington, and officially visited all three schools during the fall. 

Isaiah Pola-MaoThe four-star defensive back prospect out of Mountain Pointe (Phoenix) will announce his commitment Friday morning at his high school. Pola-Mao is the second-ranked player in the state of Arizona behind Jackson, and like Jackson, will choose among ASU, USC and Washington. ASU was considered the favorite to land Pola-Mao following his official visit to the program in early December, but he officially visited USC the weekend of January 13 and the Trojans have made a significant push in an effort to secure his commitment before Signing Day. 

K.J. JarrellThe fifth-ranked player in the state of Arizona, Jarrell will announce his college decision Wednesday at noon at Saguaro (Scottsdale). Jarrell officially visited ASU over the weekend along with high school teammates Jared PoplawskiCorey Stephens and Kyle Soelle, all of whom are ASU commits. Jarrell's parents also were at ASU for the visit and posted positively about it on social media. The four-star safety is choosing among ASU, USC and Cal, but moved up his commitment date following his visit to ASU and has not officially visited either USC or Cal. 

Evan Fields: The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma native is a prototypical Spur prospect the Sun Devils have recruited heavily, and recently Fields was bumped up from a three-star rating to a four-star rating by Scout. Fields officially visited ASU over the second weekend of December, and has also officially visited Kansas State, UCLA and most recently, Notre Dame. Fields received the first in-home visit from ASU linebackers coach Keith Patterson following the conclusion of the dead period, and the Sun Devils have since sent other coaches to visit Fields in Oklahoma. Fields is now done taking official visits and will announce his commitment two days prior to Signing Day, Monday, January 30.

George MooreA former Washington State commit, Moore didn't reopen his recruiting process until December which has expedited the nature of his recruitment in recent weeks. Former offensive line coach Chris Thomsen was the first ASU coach to begin recruiting Moore, and during Moore's official visit to Tempe, Thomsen departed to accept a job on the Texas Christian staff. However, new offensive line coach Josh Henson quickly established a relationship with Moore and the Sun Devils remain in contention for his services. The four-star junior college offensive tackle officially visited Oregon over the weekend, is planning on visiting Utah this weekend, and may also make a midweek visit to TCU, where Thomsen is continuing to recruit him.

Jaylon JohnsonOne of the top cornerback prospects in the West, Johnson is the No. 66 ranked recruit in the Scout300 and is considered a soft commit to Utah. Johnson officially visited Utah back in October, but officially visited ASU in January and following his visit, Johnson said the Sun Devils gave him a lot to consider. The four-star cornerback will make his announcement official on Signing Day. 

Tareke LewisLike Johnson, Lewis is considered a soft commit to Utah, but still officially visited ASU in early January. A four-star junior college recruit, Lewis told SunDevilSource that he has a good relationship with T.J. Rushing, ASU's defensive backs coach. Still, it will likely be difficult for the Sun Devils to flip Lewis ahead of Signing Day.

Jaylon ReddA four-star athlete out of Rancho Cucamonga, California, Redd officially visited ASU over the weekend despite being a soft commit to Oregon. ASU has actively recruited Redd's hometown in recent years and his versatility appeals to the Sun Devils because he could project as a slot receiver or as a boundary cornerback. Redd is the No. 8 ranked cornerback in the West and the No. 157-rated recruit in the Scout300. 

Shannon FormanAn under-the-radar recruit for much of the process, Forman officially visited ASU over the weekend and will visit Missouri this weekend before making his final decision. A three-star recruit from Louisiana who didn't have a Power 5 offer until January, ASU is competing with Missouri and Tulane to receive a commitment from Forman. ASU running backs coach John Simon has been talking to Forman behind the scenes for awhile, and he is expected to announce his decision on or close to Signing Day. Forman told SunDevilSource that his ASU visit was "wonderful" and that he immediately connected with ASU's players. 

Jhavonte DeanA four-star cornerback recruit out of Blinn College in Texas, Dean de-committed from Alabama after he didn't meet SEC eligibility requirements academically. The competition for Dean is likely down to a two-team race between Miami and ASU. The Sun Devils received an official visit from Dean over the second weekend of December, and he visited Miami immediately following the end of the dead period. A native of Homestead, Florida, Dean is the 20th ranked junior college player in the class according to Scout. 

Javelin GuidryOne of the fastest recruits in the country, Guidry is an athlete who projects as either a slot receiver or a defensive back. Guidry's verified 40-yard dash time is a blazing 4.35, but he's still raw from a technical standpoint which is why it's unclear which side of the ball he'll end up on down the road. Guidry received a late offer from Texas and officially visited the Longhorns' program over the weekend and at this point, he's scheduled to take his final official visit to ASU this weekend.

Amaud Willis-DaltonASU and Houston are the final two options for Willis-Dalton, a 6-foot, 185-pound three-star recruit out of Cypress Ranch (Texas). Wills-Dalton officially visited ASU during the first weekend of December and he visited Houston this past weekend. ASU has slow-played Willis-Dalton's recruitment because he's somewhat redundant to Pola-Mao and Fields, but if ASU doesn't land either of its primary Bandit/Spur prospects, then Willis-Dalton could become a more reasonable target for the Sun Devils. 

Tyon MerchantAnother Texas-based defensive back, Merchant is a three-star recruit out of College Station, Texas who could also emerge as a more important target for the Sun Devils if they strike out with the four-star cornerback prospects they're attempting to land. Merchant hasn't yet visited ASU officially heading into the last weekend of the cycle. 

Brad StewartA four-star cornerback recruit out of Louisiana, Stewart visited ASU officially following the end of the recruiting dead period, and most recently visited Arkansas. The No. 4 ranked cornerback prospect in the South, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Stewart will take his final official visit to Florida over the weekend before finalizing his commitment.

Todd HarrisAnother four-star cornerback out of Louisiana, Harris is the fifth-ranked cornerback prospect in the South but has a stronger offer sheet than Stewart. After visiting ASU in December, Harris officially visited LSU once the dead period finished up and took an official visit to Alabama over the weekend. 

Tyler JohnsonThe four-star Devil backer recruit out of Highland (Gilbert) flew under the radar over the weekend as he officially visited Oregon despite committing to ASU back in December. Johnson said one of the reasons he chose ASU is because the Sun Devils wanted him to play defense at the college level, but on his Oregon visit, the Ducks' new coaching staff was recruiting him as a potential offensive weapon. Johnson told after his visit to Eugene that he remains committed to ASU.

Ryan KelleyA former Oregon commit, the local four-star quarterback out of Basha (Chandler) flipped to ASU early in the recruiting process after developing a relationship with former offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey. With Lindsey now out the door, the Sun Devils are hoping that Kelley's desire to play at his hometown school will outshine any opportunities that present themselves from other Power 5 programs over the final week of the recruiting cycle. 

To receive the most thorough updates regarding ASU's priority recruiting targets, including our latest "War Room" update, join today and receive access to all of our premium content plus access to the largest, most active ASU message board. 

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