Spring wrap: Arizona State

May, 9, 2011
5/09/11
11:00
AM ET
ARIZONA STATE

2010 overall record: 6-6

2010 conference record: 4-5

Returning starters

Offense: 9, Defense: 8, punter/kicker 0

Top returners

WR Gerell Robinson, RB Cameron Marshall, C Garth Gerhart, LB Vontaze Burfict, DE Junior Onyeali, LB Brandon McGee

Key losses

WR Kerry Taylor, DT Lawrence Guy, QB Steven Threet

2010 statistical leaders (*returning starter)

Rushing: Cameron Marshall* (787)

Passing: Steven Threet (2,534)

Receiving: Kerry Taylor (699)

Tackles: Vontaze Burfict* (90)

Sacks: Junior Onyeali* (6.5)

Interceptions: Omar Bolden* (3)

Spring answers

1. Experience on offensive line: The Sun Devils are the only Pac-12 team that welcomes back its entire starting offensive line from 2010. In fact, the only person from last year's depth chart not back is guard Jon Hargis. Garth Gerhart, a 22-game starter, is the anchor at center, and with Evan Finkenberg, Dan Knapp and Aderious Simmons, there are three tackles with starting experience.

2. A couple of Guys at defensive tackle: The Sun Devils lost both starting defensive tackles -- Lawrence Guy and Saia Falahola -- but Will Sutton and Corey Adams stepped up this spring and showed they can be more than adequate replacements. Sutton, in particular, was unblockable at times. The key for Adams is staying healthy.

3. Hello Mr. Robinson: With receiver Mike Willie out while recovering from offseason surgery and receiver T.J. Simpson suffering a knee injury this spring, the Sun Devils needed someone to step up as a go-to receiver. That would be Gerell Robinson, who might have had as good a spring as anyone on the team.

Fall questions

1. Is Osweiler ready for prime time: When quarterback Steven Threet, the Sun Devils' 2010 starter, was forced to retire because of recurrent concussions, the offense was handed over to Brock Osweiler. His strong finish coming off the bench for Threet had most believing the transition would be smooth (and that Osweiler might have beaten out Threet in any event). Osweiler seemed to get better as spring went on and was very good in the spring game. Still, how well will he lead a top-25 team with visions of a Pac-12 South championship?

2. Secondary issues: Losing first-team All-Pac-10 cornerback Omar Bolden to a knee injury was huge. You can't easily replace a very good player and leader. Further, safety might be the most questionable position on a good defense. There's a feeling sophomore Alden Darby is going to step up somewhere. Devan Spann, Osahon Irabor and Deveron Carr are going to need to do the same at cornerback.

3. Special questions: The Sun Devils need to replace punter Trevor Hankins and kicker Thomas Weber. Touted junior college punter Josh Hubner had a solid spring, but it remains to be seem if he can be consistent on Saturdays. At kicker, Alex Garoutte struggled with inconsistency. Is he going to find his rhythm? And, if not, are there other options?

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