A mediocre season didn't do much to alter Dennis Erickson's recruiting touch. Despite last year's 5-7 record, the Arizona State football program secured a solid recruiting class, and the players will officially sign their letters of intent Wednesday.
Five-star defensive tackle Corey Adams (Scottsdale Saguaro) has already verbally committed, and all signs point toward five-star middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict joining as well.
Burfict originally committed to Southern California, but Arizona State's hard sell on academics seemed to be the deciding factor in his change of heart.
Burfict has some academic issues he must deal with - there's a chance he may not qualify - but if he does make it to campus, the 6-foot-2, 244-pounder from Corona, Calif. would be the highest-rated recruit in Arizona State history.
Burfict is currently ranked as the No.1 inside linebacker in the country and the ninth best player overall regardless of position by Rivals.com.
"He's a seek-and-destroy linebacker," said Jeremy Crabtree, a national analyst for Rivals.com. "He will hit you very hard. His impact will be felt greatly."
Walnut Creek (Calif.) wide receiver Diante Jackson, who is currently committed to Colorado but has been exploring his options, has Arizona State as one of his three finalists. He will decide Wednesday morning.
Los Angeles wide receiver Randall Carroll will announce his decision on Wednesday, too, but is a longshot to choose ASU.
Ten in-state recruits have committed to the Sun Devils. Three big ones - Phoenix Desert Vista's Devon Kennard (USC), and Scottsdale Chaparral's Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh (both to Michigan) - got away, but Crabtree said the staff did a good job in the home state.
"There's no question they've made it a priority to dominate in their backyard," he said.
One of the local recruits, Saguaro tight end Max Smith, said the losing record never affected his decision.
"(Erickson) is a great coach," Smith said. "The team is very young and he's building something."
Junior college transfer Dean DeLeone is one of four commitments already on campus, and is a player expected to vie for starting time at defensive end opposite Dexter Davis.
Adams and Burfict would also be candidates to start immediately, and quarterback Brock Osweiler will take part in a five-man competition to replace Rudy Carpenter.
"It's a good group that addressed a lot of needs," Crabtree said. "You can tell the caliber of kids they're going after is a notch higher" than players recruited by former coach Dirk Koetter.