Nov. 17, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State University head baseball coach Pat Murphy and his baseball coaching staff have announced the signing of 26 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the NCAA early signing period for the 2008 season. The class features 15 high school players and eleven junior college transfers.
The Sun Devils secured commitments from players stretching across 13 states and two countries, and includes six signees from Arizona. The signing class includes 14 pitchers (9 RHP, 5 LHP), four outfielders, six infielders and two utility players.
"I'm very excited about the collection of talent we have assembled in this fall's recruiting class. Not only are these young men exceptional baseball players, but exemplary people as well," said Murphy. "Because many of these young men will have the opportunity to sign a professional baseball contract following next spring's draft, we do have a large signing class, relative to previous years.
ASU's four in-state high school commitments are highlighted by Chase Johnson and Matt Newman. Johnson is a right handed pitcher out of Glendale's Deer Valley High School, while Newman is an outfielder from Brophy Prep.
The out-of-state signees have its share of headliners, as the Devils received commitments from some of the nation's highest rated high school players. OF Michael Burgess (Tampa, Fla.) was the AFLAC National High School Player of the Year. IF Justin Jackson (Asheville, NC) was a member of the USA Junior National Team that took home a silver medal this past summer in Cuba. IF Josh Vitters (Anaheim, Calif.) was named Most Valuable Player of the TeamOne Cape Cod All-Star Game this summer. OF Tillman Pugh (Oakland, Calif.) is a two-sport athlete at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., playing running back on one of the nation's best high school football teams. IF/OF Andrew Lambo (Newbury Park, Calif.) and RHP/IF Seth Blair (Rock Falls, Ill.) are both Baseball America Five Star Recruits, as are Burgess, Jackson and Vitters.
"We have received commitments from some of the finest players in the nation; however, I am always interested in and excited about our local signees, who, over the years have made major contributions to our program," added Murphy. "I expect that to continue this year and look forward to their contributions - along with the out-of staters - in the years to come."
The eligibility of all student-athletes is contingent upon admission to Arizona State University and compliance with all NCAA rules, including registration with the NCAA Clearinghouse. The early signing period began November 8.
"A lot of things can happen between now and the draft, but by the time the dust settles and school starts in the fall of 2007, I'm a firm believer that the members of this signing class will be a very special group," said Murphy.
Arizona State begins the 2007 season with the annual Alumni Game on Saturday, January 27. Admission to the Alumni Game is free of charge. The regular season will begin on Friday, February 2nd against Southern Utah University.