Home Sport ASU’s Kenny Dillingham ‘not interested in publicity stunt recruits’

ASU’s Kenny Dillingham ‘not interested in publicity stunt recruits’

ASU’s Kenny Dillingham ‘not interested in publicity stunt recruits’

The Arizona State Sun Devils have had a massive staff and player overhaul from last season, but not without intrigue.

New coach Kenny Dillingham has been active on the recruiting trail as well as the class of 2024. They already boast the fourth-best class in the Pac-12 for that year, according to 247Sports. The Sun Devils have finished fourth or better in conference recruiting just once since 2017.

Dillingham has been consistent in his message that he’s only recruiting players who want to play for Arizona State, and that means leaving the name, image and likeness at the door when talking to high school players.

“We will recruit kids who want to be here. This is the no. 1 for our philosophies,” Dillingham told reporters Monday.

“There are no gimmicks, no gimmicks, no promises. In the world of NIL, there is no talk of zero NIL. … When we talk and recruit, we ask, ‘Do you want to be here? Do you want to be apart of this? You want to be apart of something that can be special. If you do well and if you don’t do well’. There are a lot of athletes out there.”

In today’s college football landscape, ignoring the NIL can be a slippery slope when facing bigger schools with more resources.

For example, current ASU quarterback Jaden Rashada, the No. 27 recruit in the class of 2023, was reportedly in agreement with the University of Florida on a four-year, $13 million deal that ultimately fell through and led to him leaving Gainesville and arriving in Tempe .

Despite Dillingham’s philosophy on NIL conversations during recruiting, he admitted it’s “75%-80%” of the process.

Since he was hired, the motto of Dillingham and the Sun Devils has been “Activate the Valley,” and that goes beyond bringing in players from the state.

“To think [NIL] Its not [important] it’s naive. I want the players that come here to earn the maximum amount of money that can be paid more than anybody in the country,” Dillingham said.

“Hopefully I do such a good job that businesses flock to pay our players more than anybody in the country because we have a Valley behind them. … NIL is essential, but I want to reward our guys who are here. I want someone to take NIL who wants to be here, not take a child illegally to lure them. I want the Valley to support the people who choose to be here. I want the city to wrap itself around this team and use this team.”

ASU’s staff has pounced on many three-star recruits, especially in the class of 2024. The Sun Devils currently have 14 three-star players and zero four- or five-star players.

Dillingham cited part of that because the rankings are tied to the schools players sign with. The more “prestigious” soccer schools a player signs with, the higher the ranking.

“If you don’t get lost trying to win recruiting, if you stay focused on your vision and your plan, you can attract the skill players that others can’t,” Dillingham said.

“You can’t turn the switch and say we want this player because he’s ranked high. This is not about publicity stunts. There are a lot of four-star players that we could have taken but we didn’t think were good enough. I don’t want a publicity stunt, I want players who fit the culture and fit the country.”


Dillingham said he’s curious to see how he performs on the field because he hasn’t been on the field calling plays since he was a high school coach.

He said he’s been coaching from the booth since he was a varsity high school coach to being the doubleheader at Oregon, but this year he’ll be on the field.

“How loud it’s going to be,” Dillingham joked.


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