The Arizona State coaching staff was already excited about its 2019 recruiting class. Now, it’s even more excited.
Less than a week before the early signing date for football, the Sun Devils added quarterback Jayden Daniels of Cajon High School (San Bernardino, Calif.) to the list of verbal commits.
Daniels was the top remaining uncommitted dual-threat quarterback in the country and announced his decision Thursday afternoon in festivities at the school when he unzipped his sweatshirt to reveal a Sun Devils t-shirt. He plans to sign Dec. 19 and enroll at ASU in January.
Daniels, 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, had ASU in his final four along with fellow Pac-12 contenders Utah, Cal and UCLA. He made his official visit to Tempe the weekend of Nov. 10 when the Sun Devils faced UCLA. That was the last of his four visits to those schools.
Daniels might be the most noteworthy of any recruit the Sun Devils have landed under coach Herm Edwards. Daniels had 25 offers, nine of those from the Pac-12 but he also had offers from Ohio State, Georgia, LSU and Alabama.
Daniels’ numbers were staggering. He started 53 games for the Cowboys, taking the job the day he arrived at the school as a freshman. He completed 921 of 1,389 pass attempts (66.3 percent) for 14,007 yards with 170 touchdowns and 25 interceptions.
If that weren’t enough, he had 562 carries for 3,645 yards and another 41 touchdowns.
This season Daniels had two games in which he threw for more than 400 yards. In those games he accounted for 546 and 574 yards between his rushing and passing numbers.
In the talent-rich area of Southern California, he is the record holder for career passing yards and career passing touchdowns. He ranks second in state history in both categories behind Jake Browning (Folsom). He’s also is the state record holder for total offense in a single season — 6,431 yards last season as a junior.
Perhaps his best outing came his junior year in a state championship game. He accounted for 574 yards, throwing for 293 and four touchdowns and running for 281 and another four scores in a 54-28 win.
“He is the best I’ve seen come through this area,” said Daniels’ high school coach Nick Rogers. “And it isn’t just me. I have talked to a lot of different coaches and they have said the same thing. On top of it all he has been a humble and grounded kid. That’s hard to find nowadays.”
The addition of Daniels gives ASU 21 verbal commits for the 2019 class. There will be plenty of competition for the spot soon to be vacated by Manny Wilkins. Included are two other quarterbacks — Joey Yellen of Mission Viejo (Calif.) and Ethan Long of West Linn (Ore.). Yellen is a drop-back, pocket passer while Long is more in the athlete mold and is versatile enough to play other positions.
Daniels and Yellen are scheduled to play in the Under Armor All-American Game on Jan. 3 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., as is another commit — corner back Jordan Clark of Baton Rouge, La.