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ASU Football: Rivals’ Adam Gorney on What no PAC-12 Football Means for Recruiting

Rivals' Adam Gorney talks with AllSunDevils about Arizona State recruiting
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PAC-12 recruiting has been down the past few years.

It’s no mystery; fans of every conference have noticed it.

As of right now, the plan is that there’s no fall football in the PAC-12 and Big Ten. Kids committed and/or thinking about playing for a PAC-12 team won’t be seeing those programs take the field in the fall. National recruiting analyst for Rivals and Yahoo! Sports gave me his take on how big of a factor this initially looks like it will have on PAC-12 recruiting.

“I don’t think it’s a major factor right now,” said Gorney. “I think most high school players right now are most concerned with their seasons, whether they’ll play, or whether they’ll not play.”

Coronavirus protocol for certain programs takes in many different factors. Certain states and areas are lighter with their regulations than others, and so certain programs aren’t able to do as much in general in getting guys on campus.

Visits are usually very important at this time of year, and they aren’t happening as much with certain programs due to the pandemic. Visits restrictions are happening within the PAC-12.

“There are a lot of guys who haven’t made decisions yet—visits are going to be important,” said Gorney. “I think it’s up to each kid; what they think is important.”

He did cite, however, that the virtual visits have helped. Those can be done, and if done effectively, can be huge during the pandemic’s restrictions.

Regardless, the ’21 recruiting class is a little lucky that they were able to get a bit of a head start early in the spring in their recruiting, and many obviously committed without having visited. Younger athletes are not in as fortunate of a situation.

“I think it hurts the ’22 class more,” said Gorney. “I think their decision seems a little more uncertain and rushed.”

Makes sense, as a pandemic creating lots of uncertainty over college football, in general, is not necessarily a warm welcome to new athletes on the recruiting trail.

As for transfers, the situation could be a lot worse. There are a few players who have transferred here or there due to their program not playing in the fall, but not as much as some may have feared. Gorney isn’t surprised.

“It’s hard to predict how that’s all going to play out,” said Gorney. “That’s an individual thing for them. I just don’t know how much it benefits for a PAC-12 or Big Ten player to transfer.”

He went on to explain how teams have already been settling in with everything, and transferring may not provide all that much for a player unhappy with the decisions to not play football.

As for ASU, Gorney again isn’t so sold that the pandemic is a significant factor on recruiting. He even seemed optimistic about the Devils trying to recruit nationally.

“Right now, they have 20 commits, and they’ve done well again in California,” said Gorney. “They’ve gone to Florida for some recruits. They’re doing well with a national approach.”

Gorney later added that the key for the Arizona schools right now is going to be keeping top nearby talent home.

He did say that he believes that no football in the PAC could play a serious role if there’s no football at all for the PAC, not even in the spring. If that happens, he sees a lot of momentum straying away from PAC-12 and Big Ten schools on the recruiting trail.

I couldn’t help but wonder what the mentality will be like for ASU players when they see other conferences playing and continuing with the season if it really does happen and play out. I figured there could be players frustrated or disappointed in their situation, and not thrilled to be a Devil. Gorney put my concerns to rest.

“It’s certainly frustrating that there’s no direction forward. But if there’s any staff capable (of keeping guys onboard), it’s Arizona State.”

Herm will keep the train rolling.