"We're getting more athletic and faster all the time. We're a lot better offensively. We have a heck of good recruiting class. Probably as good as we have had. I'm excited about it. Everybody is."
ASU's woes at offensive line have been addressed in a major way by this group of newcomers. The maroon and gold inked six offensive linemen, the most in a recruiting class since 2002. Three of those linemen are junior college transfers and two of them, Brice Schwab and Chris De Armas, are already enrolled.
"As I sat back and looked at our team, where do we have to get better to compete for a Pac-10 Championship next year," explained Erickson, "we thought we needed a couple junior college offensive linemen, which we did in this class.
"Brice Schwab is an offensive tackle, probably the best junior college offense lineman that I saw. When they made a change at USC, obviously, we did a good job at getting on top of him. He is 6-8, 320 pounds. We expect him and have an impact right away.
"Chris DeArmas is the same way. He is an offensive guard out of El Camino [Junior College], who can come in a give us some depth. I look at our offense front, we've got a lot of young good players. We can add this depth along with Aderious Simmons, a junior college transfer out of El Camino. 6-7. Now to add these [players] to our offense front along with our freshman. We finally have some depth and we'll be so much better there."
Erickson added that constant injuries to returning players such as Matt Hustad, Zach Schlink, and Mike Marcisz have forced him to bring immediate help to the offensive line. "We have two players that are here for spring football," Erickson remarked, "which is ultimately important on the offensive front."
The Sun Devil skipper stated that this 2010 class has improved the speed and talent at the offensive skill positions. In fact, some of the players who had to sit out last year due to transfer (Steven Threet and Aaron Pflugrad) and mid-year transfers such as George Bell, are already giving Erickson much hope for offensive improvement this coming season.
"We've got two players here in Steven Threet and Aaron Pflugrad that were here in fall, that have been here all winter, who are going to add a heck of a lot to our football team," claimed Erickson. "They're going to make a huge difference to our offensive football team. George Bell brings a lot to the table as far as speed is concerned."
Looking ahead to the 2011 class, a group that is likely not to be any larger than 15 players, and with a good group of upperclassmen, Erickson felt that the current class could be quite large and contain several players that would redshirt and have ample time to develop without comprising the overall quality of talent.
"When you finally have guys that have been in the program three, four years," said Erickson, "now you can bring a freshman class that probably 80 percent of them will be able to sit back and watch for a change. It makes a huge difference.
"Now the guys that have been here for three years, four years are going be able to teach them what they have learned. That's why people who have programs for a long period of time continue to win. It's good to have that leadership in the program."