The importance of relationships in recruiting can never be overstated, and in the case of Demetrius Cherry, that theory was proven correct once again. A few years ago, the defensive lineman was recruited by then Washington State assistant coach Chris Ball, and consequently pledged to the Cougars. He ultimately ended up at Contra Costa (Calif.) College and Ball, who is now Arizona State's secondary coach, kept in touch over the last couple of years.
Needless to say that this aspect was significant in Cherry's decision.
"Demetrius had three great visits to Arizona State, Iowa State and Illinois," Carter said. "He was thinking about taking two more visits in January. In the end it all came down to having a comfort level. Coach Ball recruited him out of high school and he signed with Washington State. So the two had a connection.
"When Demetrius visited there (at ASU) with his teammates Desmond Harrison and Eriquel Florence they all had a great time. He was impressed with everything he saw down there. He has a great host in Will Sutton who is a great player. He felt very comfortable. He decided that since he is going on Christmas break he can talk to his mom and after he did he decided there was no reason to wait to make his commitment. He can now end the recruiting process and focus on school."
Cherry was offered by schools such as Iowa State, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina State and Purdue among others. He is scheduled to graduate in the spring and sign his Letter of Intent in February. He is a three for two player in terms of eligibility.
According to Carter, The 6-6 275-pound Cherry, is a very physical, athletic and versatile lineman.
"He can play anywhere on the line," Carter described. "He can play the three-technique, Five-technique, he can even play nose (tackle) at his size. He's as athletic as they come. He has a lot upside and schematic wise he will be a good fit at Arizona State, because they do a lot of things that he already does.
"It goes back to him being in a place where he feels most comfortable and where he wants to be."
When all three Contra Costa players visited Tempe on the same weekend, it was speculated that all three would want to play for the same school. Therefore, does Cherry's commitment spell good news for ASU in terms of their chances landing Florence and Harrison as well?
"Eriquel (Florence) visited Houston last weekend but Arizona State was very high on his list," Carter replied. "The opportunity to play with his teammates is a big factor for him. They are all best friends and Arizona State was the only visit all three had in common. Harrison has some big schools like USC, Oklahoma and Texas recruiting him so he has more options to choose from.
"I would say that with Florence it's an 80 percent chance that he commits to ASU. He's going to talk to his parents and I think he will decide soon. With Desmond it's a 50 percent chance because he has great choices to choose from. He took all five visits and I tell my players to take as many visits as you can before you make a decision. No reason to draw it out into the (spring) semester because you need to focus on what classes you need to take to finish up your degree."
Carter said that once Cherry, and the other Contra Costa players for that matter, pledge to a school there won't be any second guessing.
"I don't believe in soft commits," Carter explained. "Once you commit it's official. When you take these official visits, these aren't Disneyland trips, these are business trips. Once you decide where you are going that is it.
"I have a lot of respect for what Arizona State has done I knew my players would like it once they visited there. I don't visit with my players because they need to see if they can live there, I don't. I always tell my players to look at a place and see if they can live there, not just play football."