Signing Day gives college football coaches an opportunity to finally speak publicly about the recruits they have just signed to a National Letter of Intent. And few coaches were as happy about the East Bay players they were able to recruit than Arizona State's Todd Graham.
Graham inked four East Bay football players on Wednesday -- DJ Calhoun and Jalen Harvey of El Cerrito, Dasmond Tautalatasi of De La Salle and Brendan Landman of Monte Vista.
Here's what Graham had to say about each player in his press conference Wednesday.
DJ CALHOUN, El Cerrito
Graham on DJ Calhoun: "This guy I'm really excited about, DJ Calhoun. He's already here working out. This guy will play the Will linebacker position. ... DJ is a guy that possesses great blitz ability, very, very smart. Obviously that's key in playing in our system.
"I think he's one of the best linebackers in the country. You see he's rated that way, and a guy that -- the thing that stuck out to me more than anything recruiting him is his character and his leadership. He's came here, and you guys know the standards from which Coach Gris works our young men, and Gris listed him as one of the most impressive newcomers or freshmen that we've had in our program from a training standpoint. So we're excited about DJ and his leadership and a guy I think is going to be very impactful in the fall."
JALEN HARVEY, El Cerrito
Graham on Harvey: "Jalen Harvey, Jalen is a young man, 6'2", again, wanting to get that frame obviously in this league. We want speed and explosiveness, but you also have to block on the perimeter, and Jalen is going to provide great physicality to our receivers. Looks and appears a lot the same body type as a Jaelen Strong, a lot of the same abilities, and Jalen was a guy that was very highly recruited. Again, we had a lot of success in Northern Cal, and that was one thing that we really ½'½' obviously we've got some great Sun Devils from that area, one being Pat Tillman."
"We're really excited. Another guy on a very winning successful team, teammates of DJ Calhoun, and a guy you see how he's ranked as far as the second ranked wide receiver in California when you look at the ESPN poll. Another playmaker, dynamic guy that's big and physical."
BRENDAN LANDMAN, Monte Vista
Graham on Landman: "Brendan Landman is a guy that I think is really underrated, tremendous blocker, a great athleticism. This is a guy that can play in line as well as move tight end. Got great hands. You can see he was the team MVP, great size, great frame, going to be a big man and a guy that I think is going to be impactful like we need him to be because obviously that tight end position is critical to us. Again, 6'5". We're looking to get longer and, again, keep our speed and explosiveness."
DASMOND TAUTALATASI, De La Salle
Graham on Tautalatasi: "Again, you see here going into the safeties, a young man from De La Salle, again, winning, winners. As you go down through here, that's the common theme throughout. Dasmond is a guy that played just about every position, played wide receiver, tailback, again, a guy that ½'½' one of the smartest players. A guy once he starts playing free safety and lines up every down there he's going to develop, going to have great size.
"You'll see the last two years most of the safeties that we've brought in are 6'1", 6'2" players, and again, a guy that brings a great physicality. He lost two games in his entire career in high school, so that's something we're excited about. We like bringing guys in that know how to win.
"The other thing about Das, and I won't attempt to pronounce his last name, but Das, one of the things that really struck me about him is how respectful he was, and our players loved when he came on the visit, these guys, all of our players were really excited about the character of these young men, and he was a guy, his character really stood out to us."