Should ASU move on from Todd Graham? Sun Devil sideline reporter Derek Hagan weighs in

Posted at 7:07 PM, Nov 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 06:10:47-05

Oh, how Todd Graham has fallen out of favor with Sun Devil Nation.

After enjoying back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2013 and '14, the fifth-year ASU football coach has overseen back-to-back losing seasons. Last year's 6-7 effort was followed up with a 5-7 mark this year, including a six-game losing streak to end the year.

After Arizona State's season ended with a thud Friday night in an embarrassing loss to the 2-9 Arizona Wildcats, many ASU fans have called for Graham to be dismissed.

Would that be the right course of action for ASU, or does Graham deserve a chance to turn things around?

Former ASU All-American wide receiver Derek Hagan, who served as the Sun Devils' sideline reporter this season, said firing Graham isn't the right move. But Hagan recognizes Graham and his coaching staff must do a better job of bringing top-level talent to the Valley.

"I think the future is bright ... but we've got to do a better job recruiting," Hagan said during Sunday night's In the Ring segment on ABC15. "There have been a lot of injuries, so depth has been an issue. When a guy goes down, there has not been somebody that can come in and step in right away and pick that up."

The Sun Devils were historically bad on defense this season, especially in the passing game, and they'll likely have an open quarterback competition next season after redshirt sophomore Manny Wilkins struggled down the stretch.

And the Devils also have plenty of spots to fill in their 2017 class. As of Sunday, only eight players have committed to ASU heading into next season.

Hagan said the Sun Devils' injuries, which piled up as the season progressed, exposed their lack of depth at multiple positions -- and he said Graham and his assistants need to step it up in a big way as they hit the recruiting trail over the next several weeks.

"Recruiting is huge. For December and January, we've got to get the job done this year," he said.

"You've got to have that next-man-up mentality. When I think of USC, they're loaded. They've got guys that are second-string and third-string that possibly can come to ASU and start, and these guys may be 4- or 5-star recruits. So, recruiting has to get a whole lot better."