Herm Edwards has just a handful of commitments to his 2019 football recruiting class. But the new head coach at Arizona State University appears to have made the most with the first additions to his second class.
And he did it with a sudden flourish of activity.
Edwards, an NFL player, coach and executive who has returned to the college game after almost 30 years removed from it, let ASU fans know he was able to recruit at the key quarterback position, and then added a couple of in-state acquisitions to show he’s also committed to finding local talent.
The 64-year-old coaching veteran was hired by ASU last December after a long career at the professional level, but his last exposure to the college game was in 1989 when he spent a couple of years coaching the defensive backs at San Jose State. So he’s being closely watched by the Sun Devil fan base to see whether he can be successful at the college level — and that all centers on his ability to recruit.
He’s also benefiting from some serious velocity over a short period of time, which is garnering some welcome publicity. Edwards’ first commit for 2019 came as this month was starting and within a couple of weeks he’s reeled in five commitments.
The first recruit to take the plunge was Ethan Long, a 6’2″, 212-pound quarterback from West Linn HIgh School in Oregon. It didn’t take the youngster long to make his decision after visiting the Tempe campus over the June 1 weekend. He committed as soon as his visit was over.
Listed as a three-star prospect by 247Sports and the No. 70 pro-style quarterback in the country, Long is coming off a junior season in which he threw for 3,102 yards and 32 touchdowns and completed 66 percent of his passes. Besides being an efficient passer, he can also run with the ball, rushing for seven touchdowns last season.
The other acquisition at that key position is Joey Yellen, a four-star recruit from Mission Viejo, Calif. He joined up to be a Sun Devil just a week after Long made his commitment, boasting similar credentials to those of Long.
Yellen passed for 2,439 yards and 29 touchdowns last season, completing 54.5 percent of his attempts. He led his MIssion Viejo team to a 12-1 record, which earned him a 247Sports ranking as the No. 13 pro-style quarterback in the country and an ESPN ranking as the No. 7 pocket passer.
The addition of Long and Yellen gives the Devils five quarterbacks who will be vying to be the 2018 starter.
The local pick-ups include Roman DeWys from Basha High School in Chandler, the first in-state player to commit to Edwards’ new program, and Ricky Pearsall Jr. from Tempe’s Corona del Sol High School, who jumped on the bandwagon June 18, exactly one week after DeWys pulled the trigger.
DeWys is a 6’5″, 290-pound offensive lineman that had drawn interest from the ASU program prior to the departure of Edwards’ predecessor, Todd Graham. His decision to attend ASU wasn’t difficult since he grew up a Sun Devil fan and his only other offer was from Colorado State. Pearsall is a wide receiver who set several 6A Conference records in a single game last season when he had 14 receptions against Gilbert High and finished the game with 342 yards and five catches for touchdowns.
The fifth commitment in a span of 12 days was from Ty DeArman, a defensive standout from Bowie High School in Arlington, TX, who will likely play safety in Edwards’ scheme. ASU was one of more than two dozen colleges that had offered DeArman and included programs like Texas Tech, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
DeArman’s athleticism has enabled him to play everything from quarterback to receiver on offense and safety to middle linebacker on defense. He is ranked by Rivals.com as the 60th-best athlete nationally and is coming off a junior season in which he recorded 64 tackles, three interceptions, and a couple of forced fumbles. On offense, he threw for two touchdowns and ran for three more.
(Photo: ASU Athletics)