Plenty of EV talent to watch at ASU-Oregon
Thursday night’s game between Arizona State and Oregon might as well be a Hamilton family reunion, but it’s also a nod to just how far Arizona high school football has come in the past five years.
ASU is off to a 5-1 start and has either cracked the Top 25 (USA Today Poll) or is knocking on the door as the Sun Devils host No. 2 Oregon (No. 3 in BCS standings).
There are 24 players from East Valley schools on Arizona State’s roster, and seven on Oregon’s. Obviously not all of them play, but several do.
About half are former Huskies. Heck, former teammates Tyler Johnstone (Oregon offensive tackle) and Jaxon Hood (ASU defensive tackle) might line up opposite one another. Both Anthony “Mississippi” Jones (ASU) and Reggie Daniels (Oregon) are defensive backs receiving playing time. Dante Alexander is also part of ASU’s roster.
The most visible and productive of the EV contingent has been freshman D.J. Foster (Saguaro) out of the ASU backfield, but the Sun Devils’ kicking tandem is Alex Garoutte (Brophy) and Josh Hubner (Desert Mountain). Hood has played well as a freshman, as have veterans Deveron Carr (Chaparral) and Keelan Johnson (Mesa).
Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan (Chandler) is on most national lists for defensive award watchlists but the Ducks’ list goes on: Andre Yruretagoyena (Chaparral offensive linemen), Sam Kamp (Mountain View defensive end), Isaac Remington (Valley Christian defensive tackle) are all Oregon Ducks.
But it’s not only the elite from the high school elite. Arizona State has kids from Apache Junction (Shane McCullen), Higley (Gannon Conway), Mesquite (Kody Kohl), Mountain Pointe (Izzy Marshall), Perry (Mo Latu), Saguaro (Brock Haman, Kody Koebensky and Corey Adams, St. Mary’s (James Morrison).
You can add another half-dozen to that list, which wouldn’t include the half-dozen kids from the West Valley.
First came a couple elite high school players from the East Valley, most of which went elsewhere to play BCS-caliber Division I. Next was a handful of kids staying here to play at Arizona State.
Now with ASU’s early success under new coach Todd Graham and EV high school talent ascending in quality and quantity, we’re moving closer to a split down the middle between kids staying and leaving.
Up next: More kids following Foster or Hood’s lead and making an immediate impact. It’s going to happen quickly.