Coach Koetter Breaks Down The 22 ASU Signees

Here's what the Sun Devil head coach had to say about the newest members of his Football team.

QB Mike Affleck – "He's the first ever Elite 11 quarterback to ever come to Arizona State. He's a perfect fit for our offense. He has a strong arm and is very accurate. He stuck with us after we signed a second quarterback (Sam Keller)."

K Jessie Ainsworth - "He came and kicked here in the summer with some of the best kickers in the country. We offered him a scholarship and he accepted. He went and had a huge senior season. Three time All-CIF kicker. He has a great chance to have an immediate impact with the departure of Mike Barth and Greg Pieratt. I don't think he'll disappoint anyone out there with his leg strength. We have very high expectations for Jessie."

TE Aaron Austin – "He was the #1 tight end in junior college a year ago. He went through some personal things and wasn't able to join us last year. This kid could of started all over again and take five more trips to any school in the country. He stayed with us, and he's with us right now in our winter program. We look for great things from him immediately."

S Josh Barrett – "He's one of those guys that I talked about who is very versatile. Tremendously under recruited player. Reno isn't a hot bed for recruiting, but I think he'll surprise a lot of people. He has a big frame. The best thing about him that he had 30 kick returns for touchdowns in his career. Very fortunate to have him here."

WR Rudy Burgess – "The best thing that depicts him is his explosiveness. He played in on a system where he was counted on to do everything. So, his numbers at wide receiver maybe aren't like others out there, but I think this kid in his class of what Derek Hagan is."

LB Justin Burks – "A mature, physical linebacker. He's in our program right now, and with the departure of our three senior linebackers, he has a chance to compete for starting position right of the bat."

DE Kyle Caldwell - "What hasn't been said about this guy? He's a legacy, and it's always great to have a son of a former Sun Devil great, Bryan Caldwell. It's a huge addition to our program. Kyle is probably the only national recruit from Arizona. He could have had his pick of where he wanted to go. He's an impact guy. He'd love to be the next Terrell Suggs. Those our big shoes to fill, but he may be able to just pull it off."

CB Chad Green – "He's the highest rated cornerback in the last 20 years at Arizona State. He played on a championship team. He's very fast, and as a wide receiver he caught my eye lining up and running by people. Another national recruit that could have gone anywhere he wanted. Cornerback is one group where had huge success with this class and he fits that mold."

OL Robert Gustavis – "A very athletic big guy. Can play several positions across the line. His best Football is in front of him. He's a leader, and an excellent student. He'll have an opportunity to probably redshirt this year, and have an awesome career from there."

S Darnel Henderson – "Another guy that was under recruited. He's the type of guy that played wherever the coach needed him. Comes very highly recommended. What he lacks in stature, he makes up with heart."

LB De'Andre Johnson – "A linebacker we signed in last year's class. We thought last year that he's the prototype linebacker in our system because he's fast and physical. Right now in our winter program that he's in, he's not in shape. But he can run and hit. I really credit him for the way he hung in there. He's another guy that could have taken the easy way out, but he wanted to be a Sun Devil. That says a lot to me."

QB Sam Keller – "He's one of those crazy recruiting things that happened. When Andy Goodenough decided that he wanted transfer, Mark Helfrich (ASU QB coach) from Sam Keller. We were on him very early, and he committed early to Michigan. We originally didn't plan to take two quarterbacks in this class. With Andy's departure, when you have a chance to get a guy at this position that comes highly recommended and wants to be a Sun Devil, we couldn't pass him up. Another guy in the Andrew Walter mold, and that's the direction our offense is headed right now."

CB Chris McKenzie – "Another guy that committed last summer. He comes very highly recommended from Glendale Community College. One of the top JC corners around. Huge team player. They needed him to play free safety, and even though he didn't suit him the best he did for the good of the team. That's the kind of guy he is. Maybe the fastest player that ever played at Arizona State. He's another kid that had to hang in there in the hype of recruiting when it became apparent that we're on to other cornerbacks. Other schools tried to scare him off, and we're proud of him that he hung in there."

TE Brent Miller – "He's one of the most athletic big men I've seen for his height and size. He played a lot of different positions, and a very team oriented guy. The sky is the limit for this guy. He has a huge upside as a tight end in our system."

CB Chijoke Onyenegecha – "It came down to the wire with him. This is one of those unbelievable recruiting deals, where we thought we were out of the longest time. This guy could have gone anywhere he wanted. I want to credit Mark Helfrich who recruits the bay area – right when we were ready to get out of it, Mark saw him one more time and convinced him to visit here. He really hit it off with (Cornerbacks) coach English. Comes out of San Francisco Community College, a national championship program. Maybe the best corner in all of junior college, maybe in the country. He's the total package. This was the biggest surprise of the day. There was a lot of hootering and hollering when his letter came in."

OT Julius Orieukwu – "What an awesome athlete this guy is. Legitimate 6-7 300 pounds. Looks like Levi Jones. Has a wingspan of a seven footer. Great student. Ton of potential, and his best has yet to come."

DT Brett Palmer – "He's the guy that started the whole thing rolling for us. He was the first player to commit, and we'll always have a spot in our heart for that. When a guy commits early, every team that comes to the valley tells him why he shouldn't come to Arizona State. He has a great motor. You don't see too many defensive tackles play Basketball, and he's a good player. This guy is a Sun Devil and he comes from a Sun Devil family."

OG Mike Pollak – "After watching him do weight training in the morning, and pitch in the playoffs in the afternoon, I was sold on top of his Football ability. This guy is soft spoken off the field, but not soft spoken on the field."

DT Gabe Reininger – "Mid year transfer. He's in our winter program right now. An immediate inside presence, much like Shane Jones."

OL Brandon Rodd - "We said one year ago today we said that we want to make inroads in the state of Hawaii. We had two guys from Hawaii visit us this year, and we tracked several others. This is the first player from that state that came here since 1995. We hope that's one of many more to come. They play excellent high school Football there. He has the frame to be much bigger than he is right now. He's already a great pass blocker, and very few high school lineman have the ability to be that good of a pass blocker at this stage of their career."

FS Daniel Varvel – "Another versatile player. A legitimate 6-3 200 pounder. We project him to be a free safety in the mold of a Jason Shivers. He's a run and hit type of guy He's not afraid to bring the wood."

LB Mark Washington – "We've been trying for years to get a player from Long Beach Poly. Not only does mark give us inroads into that program, but also Mark has a great presence about him. He‘s a great leader, and it came down to the wire on him. With Washington, Burks and Johnson we feel we got three guys to replace our three senior linebackers."

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