Arizona State received word it would be adding a fourth mid-year transfer when Costa Mesa (Calif.) Orange Coast Community College defensive end Dean Deleone informed the school's coaching staff that he would be signing with the school Wednesday.
Deleone, a 6-foot-2, 245 first-team junior college All-American, narrowed his focus to Arizona State and Oregon, before taking official visits to both schools. He tripped to Oregon Dec. 5, and strongly felt he would sign with the Ducks before the subsequent visit to Tempe on Dec. 12.
"After I went down there to ASU I basically switched my mind," Deleone said. "I had a great visit there, really liked the coaching staff, especially coach Stretz my position coach. He talked a lot about their scheme and how he saw me fitting in and it really impressed me.
"When I let the coaches know I was signing with them they were a little surprised. I think my recruiting coach, coach Lubick felt that I would probably be signing with Oregon because he knew I was leaning that way before my visit to ASU."
Deleone had 78 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and 15.5 tackles for loss en route to first-team all-league and First-Team All-American status.
A rush end, Deleone said he clocked 4.44 seconds (hand-timed) in the 40-yard dash earlier this year, tying the best mark on the team.
"After I ran that time I kind of kept joking with the coach to let me return kicks and he finally did," Deleone said. "He said he'd only let me do it if I scored a touchdown. I didn't on the first one but on the second one I scored a 97-yard touchdown."
Deleone will enroll at ASU in January and have three years to play two seasons. He will join Cerritos College cornerback LeQuan Lewis, who is ASU's other mid-year JUCO transfer, and early high school graduates Brock Osweiler, a quarterback, and Matthew Tucker, a safety.