CSD Looks at the Competition: Arizona State

California hauled in 18 recruits in the 2009 football recruiting class and finished as the 34th ranked class in the nation, according to Scout.com. Four Pac-10 schools finished ranked higher in Scout.com's rankings, and four schools below were within 14 spots of the Golden Bears. CSD will look at how some other Pac-10 schools fared in the 2009 class…

The California Golden Bears did a tremendous job on the offensive line with this year's recruiting class. If players such as Mark Brazinski, Charles Siddoway, Charles Ragland and Brian Schwenke develop and progress as players there could be some very good battles with the Arizona State defense over the next four years.

On thing the Sun Devils have been lacking is a dominant defense. ASU head coach Dennis Erickson is doing a decent job of bringing in blue chip talent to that side of the ball. Last season, the Sun Devils got a major contribution from defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, who finished last season with 44 tackles, 10 tackles for loss including two sacks.

Coach Erickson pulled off one of the biggest recruiting coups in the Pac-10 with the late commit of Corona (Calif.) Centennial linebacker Vontaze Burfict. He is arguably the best linebackers in the country in the 2009 class. Furthermore, if Burfict can solve questions surrounding his academics, he will make one of the biggest impacts in the Pac-10 in 2009.

Cal Sports Digest got a chance to speak with Gina Mizell of asuwebdevil.com about how Arizona State's recruiting.

What freshmen made major contributions for ASU last season?

Ten true freshmen actually saw game action for the Sun Devils last season, which set a new school record. With that said, the biggest impact freshman was definitely defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, who was named a Freshman All-American by most publications. He started the final eight games of the season and finished with 44 tackles (10 TFL), two sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Other freshmen that also made contributions were offensive lineman Zach Schlinck (who started against Washington before suffering a season-ending knee injury in that game), linebackers Shelly Lyons and Brandon Magee, safety Clint Floyd, defensive end James Brooks, wide receiver Gerrell Robinson and running back Ryan Bass.

Will Ryan Bass be expected to play a bigger role in the offense next season?

He should definitely be in the mix for the starting job next season. He had a lingering hamstring injury most of last season and also had some trouble holding onto the football in practice, which both contributed to his lack of playing time last season. He's a very speedy and elusive back, though, and most likely the future of the ASU rushing attack.

How was Coach Erickson able to lure Vontaze Burfict from USC? Was it a big factor that some of Burfict's teammates from high school were already a part of the ASU program or was it more than that?

I'd say that was definitely a huge factor. Bass, Lyons, Magee and fellow '09 signee Will Sutton all played a role in getting him out to Tempe, and now Erickson has established a really nice pipeline with Centennial. In fact, the five Centennial players that will be on the ASU roster in the fall will be the most from an out-of-state high school in the history of the program.

ASU's academic program for student-athletes also reportedly played a role in getting him to switch his commitment. ASU has a top-notch Student-Athlete Development program, run by Associate Athletic Director Jean Boyd, that puts together a structured academic study program for all of its athletes to make sure they are successful in the classroom as well.

What are the expectations for incoming quarterback Brock Osweiler? Will he be expected to compete for the starting position this season?

He's kind of the dark horse to be the starter next year, and I would not be surprised in the least if he snagged the job because the competition is so wide open right now. He's a big kid from Montana that most people outside of the coaching staff haven't seen much of, but we will all get a good look at him in the spring. Enrolling early and being on the field for spring practice will definitely help him get a jumpstart on learning the system and should increase his chances of earning the starting nod in the fall.

What does the coaching staff think of quarterback Jack Elway?

He ran the scout team last year, and is still very raw. He still needs at least another season under his belt before he can compete for a higher spot on the depth chart.

How many of the incoming freshmen class decided to enroll early?

Two: Osweiller and safety Matthew Tucker. Two junior college players also enrolled early and will participate in spring ball: cornerback LeQuan Lewis and defensive end Dean Deleone.

What freshmen does Coach Erickson feel have a good chance of contributing to next year's team and what were his thoughts on this years recruiting class?

Erickson said he feels this class is "every bit as good" as last year's class (ranked No. 17 in the nation by Scout.com) and has a lot of talent and speed. Burfict will obviously compete for immediate playing time next year, as will Osweiller and five-star defensive tackle Corey Adams. Another name to look out for is cornerback Osahon Irabor, who Erickson said was No. 1 on their board at that position.

The 2009 Arizona State Recruiting Class

Pos Nat'l
Rank
Nat'l
Rating
Name
School, Hometown
Video HT/ WT/ 40 Commit Date Signed LOI? Commit School
WR NR Jarrid Bryant
(Salisbury School)
Salisbury, CT
6-4/185 02/09/2009
Arizona State
MLB 1 Vontaze Burfict
(Centennial HS)
Corona, CA
6-3/245 02/04/2009
Arizona State
QB 93 Kipeli Koniseti
(Grant Union HS)
Sacramento, CA
6-3/235 02/03/2009
Arizona State
OT 125 Evan Finkenberg
(Tesoro HS)
Las Flores, CA
6-6/265 01/26/2009
Arizona State
RB 42 Cameron Marshall
(Valley Christian Schools)
San Jose, CA
5-11/210 01/24/2009
Arizona State
TE 60 Gregory Smith
(Citrus Hill HS)
Perris, CA
6-3/240 01/20/2009
Arizona State
DT 33 Will Sutton
(Centennial HS)
Corona, CA
6-2/275/5.04 01/18/2009
Arizona State
DT 8 Corey Adams
(Saguaro HS)
Scottsdale, AZ
6-3/292/5.08 01/13/2009
Arizona State
WR 186 J.J. Holliday
(Santa Rita HS)
Tucson, AZ
6-0/165/4.41 12/21/2008
Arizona State
DE JC Dean Deleone
(Orange Coast)
Costa Mesa, CA
6-3/255/4.70 12/17/2008
Arizona State
CB JC LeQuan Lewis
(Cerritos)
Norwalk, CA
5-11.5/185/4.29 12/14/2008
Arizona State
RB 98 Jamal Miles
(Peoria HS)
Peoria, AZ
5-10/180/4.50 12/13/2008
Arizona State
WLB 32 Anthony Jones
(Hamilton HS)
Chandler, AZ
6-2/218/4.57 11/30/2008
Arizona State
OG NR Fred Thornton
(South Mountain HS)
Phoenix, AZ
6-4/310/5.38 11/14/2008
Arizona State
RB 117 Marcus Washington
(Desert Vista HS)
Phoenix, AZ
6-1/195/4.44 11/13/2008
Arizona State
TE 71 Max Smith
(Saguaro HS)
Scottsdale, AZ
6-2/258 10/19/2008
Arizona State
TE 19 Christopher Coyle
(Oaks Christian HS)
Westlake Village, CA
6-3/235/4.66 07/12/2008
Arizona State
CB 32 Osahon Irabor
(Upland HS)
Upland, CA
5-11/183/4.43 07/11/2008
Arizona State
RB 59 Shane McCullen
(Apache Junction HS)
Apache Junction, AZ
6-2/208/4.35 06/17/2008
Arizona State
OT 86 Kody Koebensky
(Saguaro HS)
Scottsdale, AZ
6-4/303/5.33 06/13/2008
Arizona State
QB 49 Brock Osweiler
(Flathead HS)
Kalispell, MT
6-8/235 04/30/2008
Arizona State
S 61 Matt Tucker
(Grandview HS)
Aurora, CO
6-3/190/4.50 03/20/2008
Arizona State

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