Sun Devil Football Bolsters 2022 Signing Class
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Sun Devil Football program added 11 student-athletes on Wednesday that will continue their athletic and academic endeavors at Arizona State University, as announced by head coach Herm Edwards. The February signing class consists of eight NCAA transfers, two junior college transfers, and one freshman. The Sun Devils maintain roster flexibility, with the opportunity to add to their throughout the Spring.
ASU's February Signing Class of 2022 Highlights:
- Arizona State added five Power 5 transfer prospects, including players from Alabama, Miami, and Penn State.
- The Sun Devils are putting together one of the best transfer classes in the nation, signing a group that currently ranks No. 17 in the nation and No. 3 in the Pac-12 according to 247 Sports.
- In this class, ASU signed four of the Top-320 available transfers.
- Nesta Jade Silvera is the top-ranked transfer, tabbed as the No. 3 defensive line prospect in the nation and No. 65 overall available player.
- ASU landed Xazavian Halladay, who leaves Wyoming as the second-leading rusher in school history. Halladay rushed for over 3,000 yards in his four years as a Cowboy.
- San Diego State transfer Chris Martinez started all 14 games at left guard for the Aztecs, who went 12-2 and finished No. 25 in the nation.
- The Sun Devil coaching staff contiues to emphasize height and length, as eight of the 11 additions to the class are 6-4 or taller.
ASU's Early Signing Class of 2022 Highlights:
- Earned the signature of a consensus four-star running back out of high school for just the sixth time in program history.
- RB Tevin White (No. 18 RB/No. 218 prospect, 247 Sports Composite; No. 7 APB/No. 9 prospect in VA, Rivals; No. 12 RB/No. 155 in ESPN 300)
- Signed the No. 1 junior college tight end prospect in the country according to 247 Sports, the first time the program has ever done so. It is the first JUCO prospect ranked No. 1 at his position to sign with the Sun Devils since Blake Barnett (No. 1 JUCO QB in 2017 Class).
- TE Bryce Pierre (No. 1 JUCO TE/No. 41 JUCO prospect, 247 Sports; No. 3 JUCO TE/No. 49 JUCO prospect, ESPN;)
- Expaned the recruiting footprint by signing prospects out of Oregon, South Carolina, Alabama, and Virginia. The Sun Devils found success in rare territory, as Sun Devil Nation continues to grow (the numbers below are from the internet recruiting service era, since 1999)
- DL Robby Harrison - first prospect to sign with Arizona State out of South Carolina
- QB Bennett Meredith - first prospect to sign with Arizona State out of Alabama
- RB Tevin White - second prospect from the state of Virginia to sign with Arizona State
- TE Jacob Newell - fourth prospect from the state of Oregon to sign with Arizona State
- Two freshman signees are consensus Top-10 overall prospects in their respective states. ASU also signed a Top-3 JUCO prospect out of the state of California.
- RB Tevin White (No. 10, 247 Sports Composite; No. 9, Rivals, No. 8, ESPN)
- TE Jacob Newell (No. 6, 247 Sports; No. 8, ESPN)
- TE Bryce Pierre (No. 3 in CA, 247 Sports Composite)
- Signed a Top-10 kicking prospect out of high school for the first time since 2017.
- K Carter Brown (No. 6, 247 Sports Composite; Five-Star prospect, Chris Sailer Kicking)
- QB Bennett Meredith led his Hoover team to a victory over rival Thompson during the 2021 regular season, snapping their 27-game winning streak.
2022 February Signees (11)
Senior – Offensive Line
6-7 | 300 | Selby, S.D. (Selby Area/Northern State)
Mammoth transfer offensive lineman prospect who joins the Sun Devils from Northern State with two years of eligibility remaining…Emerged as a dominant force at the Division II level, converting from tight end to offensive tackle after arriving on campus…Added 60 pounds to his already massive frame, making him the prototypical size for the tackle spot…Started every game at left tackle over the course of two seasons with the Wolves…Earned Second Team All-NSIC North Division honors in 2021 after paving the way for an offense that averaged the fourth most yards per game in the conference with 457.9 yards per game and had the second highest offensive efficiency at 153.9…Two-year starter and senior team captain as a tight end at Selby Area High School… Tallied 28 receptions for 387 yards with three touchdowns and four 2-point conversions in 2017… Named to the Yellow Stone Trail All-Conference team, Aberdeen All-Area team, Argus Leader Elite 45 Honorable Mention team, and the 9A All-State team.
Rodney Groce Jr.
Redshirt Sophomore - Linebacker
6-2 | 245 | Pleasant Grove, AL (Pleasant Grove/Mississippi State)
Transfer linebacker with three years of eligibility joining the Sun Devils from Mississippi State…Appeared in two seasons with the Bulldogs, serving as a reserve linebacker and on special teams…Plays with a physical mindset, embracing contact while making plays near the line of scrimmage…Will not be phased by any environment, having made his collegiate debut at LSU back in 2020…Prepped at Pleasant Grove High School…Consensus three-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals and 247 Sports…Top-30 prospect in Alabama per ESPN (No. 29), Rivals (No. 26) and 247Sports (No. 24) … Top-45 linebacker prospect per ESPN (No. 44), Rivals (No. 26) and 247Sports (No. 30) … As a senior, helped his PGHS to a 13-3 record and an Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A state runner up finish … Totaled 134 tackles, including 34.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in that season… Added nine pass breakups, 21 quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble recovery … Had 13 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble against Ramsey in the third round of the playoffs … Also lettered in track and field.
Redshirt Sophomore – Defensive Line
6-5 | 250 | Lancaster, CA (Antelope Valley CC/Boise State/Antelope Valley)
Physically-imposing junior college defensive line prospect with three years of eligibility remaining…Already possesses a mature physique, allowing him to be ready to play in the trenches at the collegiate level…Dangerous pass rusher with the ability to beat you with power or quickness and speed…Can take over a game by wreaking havoc in the opposing backfield…A force in the run game, thriving at setting the edge and preventing outside runs…247 Sports ranked him as the No. 34 overall JUCO prospect nationally and No. 5 JUCO defensive line prospect…The publication also rates him as a three-star recruit and the top overall JUCO prospect from California…Rivals also tabbed him as a three-star prospect…Comes to ASU from Antelope Valley Community College, where he played one season…Extremely productive during an abbreviated season, collecting ten tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery…Spent his true freshman season at Boise State, redshirting his only season with the Broncos…Enjoyed a fantastic two-year varsity career at Antelope Valley, emerging as widely-pursued outside linebacker prospect…Collected 80 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, six sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown…Multi-sport athlete at the prep level, also playing basketball for the Antelopes.
Graduate - Offensive Lineman
6-5 | 310 | Norristown, PA (B.J. Hogan/Penn State)
Graduate transfer offensive lineman joining the Sun Devils from Penn State for one final season…Appeared in 33 total games over four years, serving as a reserve offensive lineman…Most recently played in 11 games for the Nittany Lions in 2021…Part of the 2019 Penn State unit that won the Joe Moore Award Midseason Honor Roll as the best offensive line in the country at the midway point of the season…Played in all 13 games that season, rotating in at guard and tackle…Four-time letterman at Cardinal O'Hara High School...Served as team captain in his senior year...Helped the Lions to the Catholic League Blue Division title with a 10-1 mark in his senior season...Named Pennsylvania Football News' 2016 Class 4A Lineman of the Year...Selected to Pennsylvania Football News' Class 4A All-State first team as a senior...Earned Pennsylvania Football Writers first-team All-State honors, as well as USA Today All-State first-team accolades...Earned All-Southeastern and All-Delco first-team selections as a senior...Garnered first-team All-Philadelphia and first-team All-Catholic honors in 2016...Rated as a three-star recruit by all four major recruiting services – 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout...Ranked as 13th-best player in Pennsylvania and 64th-best offensive tackle by 247Sports...Rated as the No. 14 player in Pennsylvania, No. 94 prospect in the region and No. 62 offensive tackle by ESPN...Ranked as the No. 2 offensive tackle in Pennsylvania, the No. 14 offensive tackle in the East and No. 107 overall at position by Scout...Ranked as the No. 16 player in Pennsylvania by Rivals...Played basketball for the Lions...Named to the Cardinal O'Hara honor roll.
Nesta Jade Silvera
Graduate - Defensive Lineman
6-2 | 306 | Pembroke Pines, FL (Plantation American Heritage/Miami)
Dominant interior defensive lineman joining the Sun Devils from Miami for one final season…Tabbed as a four-star and the No. 65 overall transfer prospect nationally by 247 Sports, the highest ranking of any incoming Arizona State transfer…Also ranked as the No. 3 defensive lineman transfer prospect in the country…A consistent presence over his four years at Miami, playing in 41 games during his career…Became a starter at defensive tackle his junior year and has started 18 games over the past two seasons in the ACC…Most recently he appeared in 11 games during the 2021 season, starting eight of them…Extremely productive from his interior position, collecting 38 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss while also recovering a fumble…Enjoyed a breakout junior season when he started 10 games and saw action in all 11 games for the Hurricanes in 2020… Earned All-ACC Honorable Mention recognition after leading all interior defensive linemen in total tackles (35) and tackles for loss (8.0)…Added one sack, one forced fumble and one PBU…Tied for team lead with five quarterback hurries…Played in the final nine games of his sophomore season in 2019, totaling 19 tackles and one sack…Earned immediately playing time as a true freshman, appearing in 10 games and making 13 tackles back in 2018…Widely regarded as one of nation's best defensive lineman coming out of high school…Rated as consensus four-star prospect by ESPN.com, 247Sports.com and Rivals.com…Listed as third-best defensive tackle, 14th-best prospect in Florida and No. 50 overall prospect in country by ESPN.com…Ranked No. 2 at position, No. 11 in Florida and No. 54 nationally by 247Sports.com…Rated ninth-best defensive tackle and 26th-best player in Florida by Rivals.com…Helped guide Plantation American Heritage to back-to-back Class 5A state championships and 27 straight wins…Had dominant performance in state final, recovering fumble, scoring touchdown, registering one tackle and one sack…Selected to 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio…Named to 2017 Sun Sentinel All-Broward First Team…Anchored defensive line with team-best 79 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 2017…Participated in The Opening in summer of 2017.
Freshman – Defensive Lineman
6-4 | 240 | Kailua, HI (Kailua High School)
Emerging edge prospect who turned heads after an impressive senior season…Quick and agile movements off the edge makes him a handful for opposing offensive lineman…Aggressive and competitive mindset shown by his constant pursuit of the quarterback…Continues to add muscle and strength to his frame, making him more of a factor in the run game…Consensus three-star prospect according to the major recruiting services…247 Sports composite rankings tab him as the No. 7 overall prospect in Hawaii and No. 78 edge prospect nationally.
Graduate – Offensive Lineman
6-4 | 310 | Turlock, CA (Pitman/San Diego State)
Powerful and experienced offensive lineman transfer joining the Sun Devils from San Diego State with one year to play…Appeared in 19 games with the Aztecs, starting 17 at guard…Started all 13 games at left guard for a 12-2 team that finished at No. 25 in the AP Poll…Worked his way into a starting position during his third year with the program, starting the final four games of the 2020 season… Did not have a penalty in over 200 snaps on the season…Part of a 2020 team that was named to the Joe Moore Midseason Honor Roll for the best offensive line…Earned three varsity letters at Pitman High School…Twice garnered first-team all-Central California Conference accolades ... Helped the Pride reach the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs all three seasons ... Was rated a three-star recruit by 247sports and Scout…Ranked ninth among offensive guard prospects in the state of California and 18th in the West, according to Scout.
Sophomore – Defensive Lineman
6-4 | 295 | Cedar Hill, TX (Cedar Hill/East Los Angeles CC)
Junior college defensive lineman transfer with four years to use three years of eligibility…Imposing presence on the interior of the defensive line, providing size and strength in the run game…Can fill several roles along the line of scrimmage, but projects to play inside at ASU…Enjoyed an extremely productive season at East Los Angeles High School, making his 10 games count…He collected 27 tackles, six tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks while also forcing a fumble…Prepped at Texas power Cedar Hill, where he won nine games in each of his final two seasons at the 6A level.
Redshirt Junior – Quarterback
6-5 | 228 | Trussville, AL (Hewitt-Trussville/Alabama)
Talented signal caller transfer quarterback who joins the Sun Devils from Alabama with two years of eligibility remaining…Appeared in 13 games with the Crimson Tide, backing up Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young last season…Completed 10-of-16 passes for 150 yards in limited action, showing flashes of elite arm strength…Pocket passer who was rated as a consensus four-star prospect by the major outlets…The No. 9 pro-style quarterback and 17th-rated player from the state of Alabama by 247Sports…Ranked as the No. 12 pro-style signal-caller and 12th overall player in Alabama on the 247Composite…Rivals.com listed him as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback and No. 11 prospect in the state...The No. 295 player on the ESPN 300...Rated as the No. 14 pocket passer nationally and 13th-ranked prospect in Alabama by ESPN.com...A four-star prospect and a Top 350 All-American by PrepStar...Finished his career at HTHS with a 19-5 record as a starter...Threw for more than 6,500 yards and 69 touchdowns with only 13 interceptions in his 24 games as a starter for the Huskies...Completed 68.2 of his passes to rank second all-time in completion percentage in ASHAA history at the 7A level ...2018 Elite 11 finalist...Selected to the Class 7A All-State first team in 2017 by the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA).
Redshirt Junior - Tight End
6-7 | 255| Bay Shore, NY (Lutheran/Missouri)
Massive tight end transfer who joins the Sun Devils from Missouri with two years of eligibility remaining… Presents difficult matchup problems for opposing defenses because of his size and athleticism…Tabbed as the No. 189 overall transfer prospect in the country by 247 Sports…Appeared in 23 games over three seasons with the Tigers, battling back from an injury his first year to earn consistent playing time…Most recently played in 12 games in 2021 for Missouri, hauling in five catches for 46 yards…Moved up the depth chart prior to his redshirt sophomore year, playing in 10 games and making his first career catch…Ranked as a three-star recruit by Rivals, which rated him as the No. 6 prospect in the state of New York and the nation's No. 44 tight end … 247Sports.com rated him as a three-star prospect and the nation's No. 39 tight end … ESPN rated him as a three-star prospect and the nation's No. 24 tight end … Caught 34 passes for 508 yards and four scores as a junior … Caught 10 passes for 179 yards during his sophomore season … Also played DE while in high school.
Graduate – Running Back
6-0 | 198 | Matteson, IL (Brother Rice/Wyoming)
Workhorse running back transfer who joins the Sun Devils from Wyoming with one year of eligibility remaining…Leaves Laramie as one of the best running backs in Cowboys' history…Ranked as the No. 152 overall transfer prospect in the nation by 247 Sports…In four seasons with Wyoming, he compiled 3,281 yards and 19 touchdowns on 626 carries…The second-leading rusher in program history…Eclipsed 1,000 yards in two seasons, including a 1,265-yard effort in 2019 which was the third-most in single-season program history…Just earned Second Team All-MWC after rushing for 1,070 yards in 2021…Put together 14 100-yard performances with the Cowboys, including a 204-yard game in the Arizona Bowl victory over Georgia State in 2019…Versatile back that can do damage as a receiver out of the backfield…Finished his Cowboys' career with 51 catches for 584 yards and two touchdowns…Earned Special Mention All-State honors from the Chicago Tribune as a senior…He was ranked by 247 Sports as the No. 75 overall recruit in the state of Illinois in the 2017 recruiting class…Valladay helped lead Brother Rice High School a No. 8 seed in the 2016 Illinois Class 8A State Playoffs, before losing in the first round…Class 8A is the largest classification in the state of Illinois…Brother Rice High began the season with a perfect 8-0 start before ending the season with a 9-3 record…Twice during his senior season, Valladay was named his team's Offensive MVP of the Week.
2021 December Signees (6)
Freshman – Kicker
6-1 | 175 | Pearland, TX (Dawson)
A premiere kicking prospect featuring an extremely gifted leg…Possess a rare combination of power and accuracy, allowing him to emerge as one of the nation's most coveted kickers…Has the ability to kick field goals and serve as the kickoff specialist…Three-year Varsity kicker for Dawson High School, handling all the kicking duties…2019 Max Preps Sophomore All-American after a breakout season…Also named Max Preps First Team All-State in Texas, one of the toughest teams in the country to make…Came in at No. 26 in Vype.com's Preseason Class of 2022 Super 60, which ranked the top prospects in the Houston area…Rated five stars by all the major kicking recruiting services, including Chris Sailer, Kornblue, and Game Winner Kicking…Rated as a three-star prospect and the No. 4 kicker prospect in the country in 247 Sports' Composite rankings…Rivals tabbed him as a three-star prospect and a 5.5 rating, the sixth-highest for a kicker…Put up brilliant numbers during his high school career, establishing a reputation as one of the most reliable kickers at the prep level…Finished his varsity career 37-of-43 (86%) on field goal attempts, compiling 248 total points…Went 137-for-148 (93%) on his PAT attempts over three seasons…Recently completed a spectacular senior campaign in which he made 15-of-18 field goals, including a 51-yarder….Also made field goals of 49 & 48 yards in 2021…Was consistent as a junior in 2020, making 7-of-9 field goals and 51 PAT's…Put himself on the radar of Division I colleges with a breakout sophomore season…He hit 15-of-16 field goals (five of 40+ yards) and made 48 PAT's…Handled punting duties as well in each of his three seasons, with 17 of his 96 punts pinning the opponent inside the 20.
Freshman – Defensive Lineman
6-3 | 285 | Greenwood, SC (Emerald)
Athletically-gifted defensive line prospect whose recruiting has skyrocketed over the past two seasons…Played defensive tackle in high school, but has the versatility to play any defensive line position…Extremely quick off the ball with a variety of pass rushing moves in his arsenal…Increased power and improved technique has allowed him to be physical at the point of attack…Already possess an excellent frame with room to add strength and weight…Consensus three-star prospect among the major recruiting services…Rivals tabbed him as the No. 18 overall prospect in South Carolina…He is 247 Sports' No. 26 overall prospect in the state…ESPN tabbed him as a Top-100 defensive tackle prospect nationally and the No. 24 overall prospect in South Carolina…First high school prospect from South Carolina to sign with Arizona State in the internet recruiting services era (since 1999)…Selected to the 2021 SCFA Class 3A All-Region Team…Also plays basketball in high school, receiving Division I interest on the hardwood…Plans to enroll at Arizona State in January and participate in Spring practice.
Freshman – Quarterback
6-2.5 | 189 | Hoover, AL (Hoover)
Rising quarterback prospect with all the tools to be a star at the next level…Extremely accurate passer with the ability to deliver on time and on target on a consistent basis…Uses his high football I.Q. to read defenses and make checks at the line of scrimmage…Does not make many mistakes, rarely turning the ball over…Great leader who possesses intangibles that led to his team winning 23 games over the past two seasons… Continues to add strength in muscle to his tall frame…Consensus three-star prospect and Top-50 overall prospect in the state of Alabama among the major recruiting services…Listed as the No. 44 pocket passer quarterback prospect nationally by ESPN…247 Sports tabbed him as the No. 44 quarterback in the country and No. 33 overall prospect in Alabama…Operated one of the most prolific offenses in the Alabama prep scene over the last two seasons…Completed 387-of-604 (64%) passes for 5,318 yards and 47 touchdowns in 20 regular season games during his two seasons as the starting quarterback at the varsity level…Led Hoover High School to a 23-3 record and two appearances in the 7A AHSAA Football Championships semifinal round during that span…Finished his senior season 144-for-233 (62%) for 2,212 yards and 23 touchdowns, posting a 115.3 QB Rating…Knocked off powerhouse Thompson during the regular season, ending their 27-game winning streak…Put together a brilliant junior campaign that moved him on the radar of Power 5 programs…Went 243-for-371 (66%) for 3,106 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2020…Threw for three or more touchdowns in 11 career games, while eclipsing the 300-yard mark in four…Also ran for 188 yards and seven touchdowns during his prep career…First high school prospect from Alabama to sign with Arizona State in the internet recruiting services era (since 1999).
Freshman – Tight End
6-4 | 220 | Springfield, OR (Thurston)
Emerging tight end prospect who developed his game throughout his high school career…Matchup nightmare due to his combination of size and athleticism…Excellent hands with the ability to make contested catches…Can split out wide as a receiver or play inline, allowing formation flexibility…Extremely productive from the tight end position, shining as a focal point of his high school offense…Consensus three-star prospect and Top-10 player in the state of Oregon according to the major recruiting services…247 Sports tabbed him as the No. 39 tight end prospect in the nation and No. 6 overall prospect in Oregon…Ranked by ESPN as the No. 39 tight end prospect nationally and No. 8 overall prospect in the state…Three-year starter for Thurston, seeing action at the varsity level as early as his freshman year…Compiled 87 receptions for 1,289 yards and 20 touchdowns in his Colts' career…Most of that came during a breakout senior season, where he proved to be one of the toughest covers in the state…Posted 51 catches for 836 yards (16.4 ypc) and 10 touchdowns in a dominant 2021 campaign…Put up great numbers in only five games as a junior, making 19 catches for 249 yards and six touchdowns…Two-way player at the prep level, seeing time at defensive end…Made 60 tackles, collected 17.0 tackles for loss, and earned 7.5 sacks in his defensive career…Also played basketball at the varsity level at Thurston…Becomes the fourth prospect to sign with Arizona State out of high school from Oregon, the first since Ethan Long in the 2019 class.
Junior – Tight End
6-5 | 240 | Rancho Cucamonga, CA (Mt. SAC/Caffey College/Rancho Cucamonga)
Talented junior college transfer tight end who joins the Sun Devils with two years of eligibility remaining…Multi-faceted athlete with the ability to do everything required to play the position…Excellent athlete who made the transition from wide receiver to tight end as his frame filled out…Possess the mentality and willingness to make a big impact with his blocking…Skill set that makes him a mismatch in the red zone…Highest-ranked JUCO tight end to ever sign with Arizona State in the internet recruiting services era…Three-star prospect according to 247 Sports, who tabbed him as the No. 37 overall JUCO prospect nationally…247 Sports also rates him as the No. 1 JUCO tight end prospect in the country, the first time ASU has signed the No. 1 player at a position out of Junior College since 2017 (Blake Barnett, No. 1 QB)…ESPN ranked him as the No. 3 JUCO tight end prospect in the nation…Spent his sophomore season at Mt. SAC, one of the nation's premiere junior colleges…Played in nine games for the Mounties, hauling in 20 passes for 127 yards and three touchdowns…Originally played at Caffey College coming out of high school, making five catches for 55 yards in five games played as a freshman…Emerged as a pass catching threat during his senior season at Rancho Cucamonga, playing in 11 games…Finished with 23 catches for 302 yards and two touchdowns in his Cougar career…Attended the same junior college as current Sun Devil running back Rachaad White…Plans to enroll at Arizona State in January and participate in Spring practice.
Freshman – Running Back
6-1 | 199 | Stafford, VA (North Stafford)
Prolific running back prospect heading across the country to play for Arizona State…Versatile ballcarrier with a well-rounded skill set, showing the ability to receive and block in addition to run…Great vision that allows him to see holes open up and set up blocks...Takes pride in pass protection, displaying the physicality and mindset necessary for a great blocking back...Reliable ball carrier, coughing up very few fumbles despite a heavy workload...Only the second prospect from the state of Virginia to sign with the Sun Devils since 2000…Consensus four-star prospect and Top-10 player in the state of Virginia according to all major recruiting publications…The only member in the Top-10 committed to a school west of Virginia…A member of the ESPN 300, coming in at No. 155…ESPN rated him as the No. 12 running back prospect nationally and the No. 19 overall prospect in the East region…Tabbed by Rivals as the No. 7 running back in the country…247 Sports ranks him as the No. 209 overall prospect and the No. 19 running back nationally…One of only six consensus four-star running backs to sign with Arizona State out of High School…Plans to enroll at Arizona State in January and participate in Spring practice.