Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Biggest shoes to fill: Arizona State
By Kevin Gemmell
Starters in, starters out. That's college football. Players' eligibility expires and they leave for the rest of their lives, whether that includes the NFL or not.
And they leave behind shoes of various sizes that need to be filled.
Our concern with this series? The biggest shoes -- in some cases Shaq-like size 23s.
We continue with Arizona State.
Big shoes: QB Brock Osweiler
It's hard to overlook the five-game losing streak the Sun Devils are currently mired in. But during those five games, Osweiler still had nine touchdowns and averaged 352 yards in the air per game. He was a very efficient and talented quarterback, and that's why he's being talked about as a potential first-round draft pick following his surprising departure. He tossed 26 touchdowns and was second in the conference with 4,036 yards. His 13 interceptions won't be missed, but he led ASU to some significant wins in 2011, including victories over Missouri, USC and Utah. In those three games he had nine total touchdowns (one rushing) and zero interceptions.
Stepping in: Mike Bercovici, Michael Eubank or Taylor Kelly.
People are excited to see Todd Graham's high-octane offense. But they are more excited to see who is actually going to be running it. Bercovici was the backup last year, but the question is whether he fits the Graham mold/scheme. Kelly has some experience at running a spread offense and Eubank -- a stellar athlete with a sturdy 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame -- seems to be a fan favorite. This is certainly one of the more intriguing quarterback competitions in the conference and the winner is likely to put up some pretty good numbers in Graham's scheme. It's worth noting that the new guy won't have the benefit of throwing to Gerell Robinson, Aaron Pflugrad or Mike Willie, three of ASU's top-four receivers from last season.
The rest of the "Big Shoes" series can be found here.