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December 19, 2012
Graham builds depth with junior college signees
The mid-year junior college signing period started Wednesday and Arizona State coach Todd Graham gave his thoughts on two recruits who have already inked with the program, Sacramento (Calif.) American River offensive line teammates Nick Kelly and Josh Tremblay.
Kelly, 6-foot-3, 280 pounds, was a qualifier out of high school who chose junior college because he had no major college scholarship offers. He will have four years to play three at the Division I level and projects to the center position.
"We're excited about those guys," Graham said. "Obviously, (with) our need at center, it gives us some flexibility."
ASU has in recent weeks practiced redshirt freshman Mo Latu at guard as opposed to center, where he was second-string all season. Graham said they'd like to continue to look at Latu at guard in the spring. Redshirt feshman Devin Goodman and true freshman Stephon McCray are others who have worked at center in practices.
"There's a lot of moving components to that center position so we're excited to have Nick," Graham said. "Nick's a guy that if we waited (another year) he would be really difficult to obtain. He's a guy I think would have a lot of people recruiting him. He's a guy who can play the shotgun center and make all the calls, very sharp, and can come in and compete."
Kelly said he chose ASU over offers from Sacramento State, Nevada, New Mexico State, Weber State and Wyoming in a relatively short recruiting process that lasted no more than a month.
Graham said Tremblay, a 6-foot-5, 285-pounder with reported offers from Fresno State and New Mexico, will start off working at tackle this spring but could eventually end up playing guard.
"Josh has some height that we like," Graham said. "Tough guy who reminds me of (ASU junior Evan) Finkeberg a lot. Finkenberg is really good because he can play guard or tackle so we like that. Obviously we needed some help and needed some guys in here for spring training. Again we take great pride in evaluating our guys and I like both of those guys. Both of those guys will be good football players for us."
ASU has 11 scholarship offensive linemen on its roster with remaining eligibility and is set to add high profile Auburn transfer Christian Westerman -- the former No. 1 recruit in Arizona's 2011 class and someone capable of playing guard or tackle -- in the spring along with Kelly and Tremblay, which would give ASU 14 scholarship players at the position.
Graham said he would typically like to have a minimum of 15 offensive linemen on scholarship in a given season. Houston (Texas.) Stratford High offensive tackle Christian Daimler decommitted from ASU Wednesday leaving ASU at least one shy of Graham's stated objective.
"We're not done yet," Graham said. "Still looking for some other guys at that offensive line. That's a position I don't mind being over at (numbers-wise) because we have to win up front on both sides of the ball and we're right on track with where we need to be."