ASU football snags No. 1 center to boost national ranking

Arizona State football wanted to solidify its offensive line with its next recruiting class.

A commitment from the top-rated center in the Class of 2021 will go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.

The coaching staff had already rounded up five linemen when along came a 285-pound kid with three names from the talent-rich state of Texas to anchor that line.

Monday’s commitment from Ezra Dotson-Oyetade, a senior at Lakeview Centennial High School in Garland, Tex., immediately elevated ASU to No. 21 in the national recruiting rankings for the Class of ’21, according to Rivals.com, or No. 23 on 247Sports’ list.

Dotson-Oyetade is a four-star prospect who is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 1 center in the 2021 recruiting class.  That recruiting site also ranks him as the No. 42 player in the state of Texas, one of the top hot spots in the country for high school talent.

And his addition to the ASU roster is just another testament to the job the program’s  recruiters are doing.

Accordingly to a ranking of coaches by 247Sports, the ASU staff has three coaches in its list of the top 10 recruiters in the Pac-12.  It was offensive analyst Kevin Mawae who played an important role in bringing the big kid from Texas to the desert.

Dotson-Oyetade, who spurned offers from schools like Washington State, Houston, and San Diego State, credits much of his decision to attend ASU to wanting to spend his college career under the tutelage of an NFL veteran.  Mawae, who joined the ASU staff in 2018, spent 16 seasons in the NFL, all but two of those as one of the most durable centers in the league; his career included a stretch of 177 consecutive starts that stretched over nine seasons.  He was a six-time All-Pro selection.

That’s the kind of resume that catches the attention of a 17-year-old kid who has dreams of playing in the NFL.

Head coach Herm Edwards has eight on his coaching staff who were either NFL players or coaches, or both, like Edwards who spent almost his entire 30-year career in the pro ranks.  When he took over at ASU three years ago, he set up a program that blended the college and professional approach into a single concept.

Without question, that NFL influence has helped his recruiting efforts.

Building up ASU’s offensive line was a priority for this recruiting cycle.  Give the coaching staff a gold star for snagging the top center in the class to hopefully become a future bulwark in the middle of that line.

And, with the guidance of an NFL Pro Bowler who spent his career in the trenches, there’s a good chance that will happen sooner rather than later.

(Photo: ASU Athletics)