ASU football makes key recruiting hire with Patrick Suddes

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                </div>  Arizona State football has just increased the size of its recruiting footprint in the Southeast, particularly the hotbed areas of high-school talent in Alabama and Texas – all in […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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Arizona State football has just increased the size of its recruiting footprint in the Southeast, particularly the hotbed areas of high-school talent in Alabama and Texas – all in one fell swoop.

And head coach Todd Graham might want to send a thank-you note to the new head coach at the University of Texas for making it all possible.

Charlie Strong, who took over as the Longhorns’ head coach following the resignation of Mack Brown as the 2013 season closed out, decided not to keep his director of player personnel, Patrick Suddes, on his new staff.  That was in early January.  Now Suddes has been swept up by Graham, who is creating a new role for him at ASU.

But one of the biggest assets the 31-year-old Suddes brings to the party in Tempe is his recruiting acumen – and his contacts in that arena.

ESPN referred to the rising young star in college coaching as a “recruiting guru” in an article last October.  In addition to the 2013 season he spent helping build Mack Brown’s program at Texas, he also spent six seasons working for Nick Saban at Alabama, his alma mater.  And he also put in a couple of NFL years with Saban when he was the head coach for the Miami Dolphins.

At Texas he served as the point person on all of the Longhorn recruiting efforts and his duties also included overseeing the camps and clinics for the Texas youth.  But he has also spent years on the recruiting trails in states like Georgia, Louisiana, and Florida.

This hire comes on the heels of the addition of Keith Patterson last month.  Patterson was hired away from West Virginia University to be ASU’s defensive coordinator, linebackers and defensive special-teams coach.  He was Graham’s defensive coordinator when Graham was head coach at Pittsburgh in 2011 and also has deep roots in Oklahoma and Texas, where he was a high-school coach for 16 years.

But Suddes’ contacts in Florida and Texas, two of the most talent-rich states in the country, make him an incredibly valuable resource.  Add to that the base that Graham and his staff have developed in Arizona and on the West Coast, plus Patterson’s Oklahoma connections, and it could move ASU a step up the recruiting ladder nationally.

However, Graham, a Texas native who started his coaching career in the Lone Star State, has made it clear that Suddes will not be the program’s recruiting coordinator.  Instead, he’s molding a staff position that will take advantage of his many talents.  Suddes will be the Assistant Athletics Director for Recruiting, but will also serve as the program’s director of personnel, evaluating current players and working with others on the coaching staff to help develop those players.

“He knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level,” said Graham in making the announcement of Suddes’ hire this week, “and his wealth of experience in all aspects of football operations will help further our goal of bringing a championship to Tempe.”

And Suddes’ old boss had nothing but praise for the young coach.  “Patrick is a real star in the recruiting business,” said Mack Brown.  “He’s unbelievably organized, thorough, and tireless.  He did a tremendous job at Alabama, re-shaped our recruiting efforts at Texas, and will be a great asset to Todd and his staff at Arizona State.”

Suddes was hired by Brown on March 7 of last year, but in the short time he was at Texas he was given a lot of credit for the successes of the 2015 recruiting class.  He did it by adding a Sophomore Day in the spring to attract high-school recruits even earlier, expanded the summer mini-camps, and put together a major recruiting event late in the summer to keep the Longhorns foremost in the minds of their top prospects.

This time, the guru is getting started a little earlier – and everyone will be watching to see if he can pull together some Texas-sized results in Tempe.

 (Photo: ASU Athletics)