Arizona State has 10 scholarship defensive linemen heading into the summer, with walk-on junior defensive tackle Jordan Hoyt a strong candidate to receive a scholarship by the time the fall semester begins in August.
Two of ASU's top 11 players are seniors, and 11 is a healthy scholarship count at the position group, which is comprised of field side end, nose tackle and 3-technique tackle, otherwise known as the Tiger position.
As a result, there's pretty good scholarship balance at the position, with senior starter Tashon Smallwood and senior reserve Corey Smith needing to be replaced. There's also an outside chance that junior Joseph Wicker, a second-team all-league selection last season, elects to leave school early.
The Sun Devils added three defensive linemen in the last class: junior end Doug Subtyl and freshmen tackles D.J. Davidson and Shannon Foreman. Smallwood and Wicker figure to get most of the reps this year along with sophomore George Lea and juniors Renell Wren and Jordan Hoyt at tackle, and either junior Doug Subtyl or sophomore Jalen Bates playing a backup role at end. Senior Corey Smith, junior Emmanuel Dayries and the two freshmen, Davidson and Forman are also competing for action at tackle.
With five juniors on the roster (including Hoyt), and considering defensive line is an area where more players see action in the rotation, ASU could elect to sign as many as three players in 2018 at the group, with two being the minimum expectation. It would be an anticipatory move to add three defensive lineman; a hedge against the possibility that some of the younger players not develop as quickly as hoped.
ASU didn't take a junior college defensive tackle in this class, and with Smallwood departing after the season, a junior college player would make sense.