TEMPE, Ariz -- Dating back to early February, quarterback recruiting has been a rollercoaster for Arizona State football, but Thursday the Sun Devils appear to have found the future of the position.
On Tuesday, Kyle Allen of Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High School, Scout.com/Fox Sports NEXT’s number one ranked high school senior quarterback, announced his final five destination possibilities and noticeably absent from the list was Arizona State University. In a post-announcement interview, Allen cited a desire to leave the state for his college playing career.
Admittedly, though the sting of missing out on a five-star local product is still present, ASU head coach Todd Graham and staff wasted no time in securing a verbal pledge from the potential star quarterback of the Sun Devils’ future in Novato (Calif.) San Marin High School passer Manny Wilkins.
Though Allen is the crown jewel quarterback of the 2014 class, Wilkins is absolutely no slouch as Scout.com/Fox Sports NEXT rates him a four-star prospect, the No. 15 quarterback recruit in the nation and the state of California’s second-best quarterback prospect.
Wilkins (6-3, 185) was presented a scholarship offer from Graham this Monday after the staff was notified that Allen would be heading to an out-of-state college. His most prominent competing offer was from Arizona, though many insiders believed interest in Wilkins figured to increase dramatically had he chosen to wait before committing.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the dominoes fall like this under Graham, as last summer when coveted in-state quarterback prospect Tyler Bruggman of Phoenix’s Brophy Prep verbally committed to Washington State over ASU, Graham secured a commitment from four-star Joshua Dobbs of Alpharetta, Ga.
However, this time around Sun Devil fans certainly hope the commitment sticks as Dobbs fled from his pledge to ASU for an eleventh-hour switch to Tennessee on the morning of National Letter of Intent Signing Day.
Presuming Wilkins signs next February, ASU will have its first scholarship quarterback signee since the 2011 cycle when both Mike Bercovici and Michael Eubank inked with the Devils.
In addition to losing Dobbs’ commitment this past February, the Sun Devils were on the short end of a late switch in the 2012 class when T.J. Millweard followed Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone to UCLA after Dennis Erickson’s staff was fired.
A key quarterback signee for the 2014 class is absolutely crucial as no scholarship quarterback on the roster is eligible to play past 2015.
In total, Wilkins is ASU’s fourth known verbal pledge for its 2014 signing class, joining RB/LB Michael Farmer, CB Jaleel Wadood and LB/DE Korey Rush.