The Arizona State Sun Devils closed out their 2018 football class in a big way Wednesday, landing several 4-star commits on the final day of the signing period.
As a result, ASU shot up in the 2018 national and Pac-12 recruiting rankings -- a testament to the hard work put in by new head coach Herm Edwards and his staff, who barnstormed their way through high schools in Arizona and California in the last several weeks.
As for those athletes who were offered by ASU but chose to play college football elsewhere?
"If they decide to go somewhere else, we wish ‘em well. If they stay in this conference, then that’s great. We’ll play against them and beat them," Edwards said during ASU's National Signing Day press conference Wednesday.
"That’s how it works. You can’t force anyone to come to your university. All you can do is lay out your plan and say, ‘We’d love you to be here.’"
Edwards noted Arizona, California and Nevada are the states that he and the Sun Devil coaching staff have targeted and will continue to target. ASU received 12 commitments from California-based players in the 2018 class, but just two from Arizona.
Going forward, Edwards wants more AZ-based players to stay home and play for ASU.
"We’d like to keep the local kids here. We’ve told every coach that," Edwards said. "Our coaching staff has gone out and visited at least 80 high schools, so we are in the vicinity. It’s up to that kid to make his decision: Does he want to come here?
"I hear a lot of them say, ‘I want to go to my dream school.’ Why can’t your dream school be here? It doesn’t have to be anywhere else ... We’re going to continue to recruit them hard, because that’s what we do, and hopefully we can get a lot of the local kids and local talent to come here."
Edwards also noted ASU isn't going to offer every top athlete he and his assistants come across.
"A lot of them -- whether it’s here, California, Nevada, Texas -- will not fit our DNA. That’s not personal. That’s just the way we’re going to go about doing things.
"We can’t recruit every kid; we’re going to recruit the kids that fit our DNA. I told you that when I first took this job. That’s not going to change."