ASU Commits Comment on Erickson Hiring

The official announcement will take place Monday at noon, but the 2007 class of Sun Devil commits are already well aware that Dennis Erickson will be ASU's next head coach. Devils Digest caught up with three of those pledges, Nick Foles, Kerry Taylor and T.J. Simpson to get their reaction to the Erickson hire, as well as how it changed, if at all, their commitment to the maroon and gold.

Quarterback Nick Foles has been a busy player these days. The signal caller led Westlake Austin to a Texas 5A playoff quarterfinal 37-23 win against San Antonio Reagan yesterday. The Arizona State commit was 12-17 for 197 yards and three touchdowns. Westlake will venture to the San Antonio once again this weekend, to face Pearland on Saturday in the state's 5A semifinals.

"I'm happy that ASU has a coach," Foles told Devils Digest Sunday night. "I heard good things about him form my dad, and he said that I was gonna like him. I'll never know for sure until I meet him, but I like the fact that he runs a spread offense. I'm still committed to ASU and I hope he accepts me just like the old coaching staff did."

Foles' father owns a couple restaurants in Tempe and the greater Phoenix metropolitan, and as a result the quarterback stated that he won't feel that he'll be in foreign territory even with a new coaching staff at the school of his choice. "I like everything about ASU," he claimed. "It was hard for me when Koetter got fired and for a little while I didn't know what I was gonna do. But I obviously know the area real well because of my dad, and it's like a home away from home from me. I really like all the players that committed to ASU and also those that are on the team and that helps too."

Local Hamilton wide receiver Kerry Taylor is done with his school's playoff run, but it was nothing than a rousing success. The Huskies won their third championship in the last four years, and this was the second one for the wide receiver who played as sophomore on the varsity team. "I think it's pretty good, "he commented on the Erickson hire. "He spreads the field with his offense and that's something I like a lot. I felt like I was committed to ASU before he got hired, and now this just reinforced my commitment."

Taylor added that he plans to spend the next several months getting his body in shape, as he plans to report to the ASU's off-season conditioning program in June. He remarked that Hamilton teammate and fellow ASU commit Colin Parker is also still committed to the Sun Devils.

T.J. Simpson is another local wide receiver and Sun Devil pledge. However, that's where the similarities end with Kerry Taylor. Following the Koetter firing, the Peoria standout has re-opened his recruitment, and has already taken a recruiting visit with two others planned in the future. "I don't know that much about him," said Taylor of Erickson. "I don't know what staff he's bringing in. I just wanna get a feel for the coaching staff before I re-commit. Right now I'm on the fence; I'm not committed or de-committed."

"I've just visited Nevada this past weekend and it was a good visit," Simpson continued. "That was my first visit since Koetter was let go. I have a visit to Oregon State next weekend and a visit to Oregon on Jan. 12th. I might make my choice before that Oregon trip, but at the latest it will be right after."

Simpson mentioned that current ASU defensive line coach Grady Stretz, who was recruiting him on behalf of ASU, has been in contact with him since the coaching change was announced a couple of weeks ago. "He talked me last week and said that he would let the new coach know about me and that I still have a scholarship." The wide receiver added that staying close to home was never going to be a factor in his decision, so if he does re-commit to the Sun Devils it will be on the program's merit and obviously his impression of the new coaching staff.

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