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QB candidate watch: Arizona State

If Arizona State was playing this week it's likely Manny Wilkins would start, but there's plenty of time before the opener against Northern Arizona. Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Roughly half of Pac-12 teams must replace their starting quarterback in 2016. We're checking on the status of each open competition. Here's the situation at Arizona State, where three candidates are vying to replace Mike Bercovici.

Who's in the race? Sophomore Manny Wilkins and redshirt freshmen Bryce Perkins and Brady White.

What does Wilkins bring to the table? Wilkins brings an extra year of experience and some very limited game experience. He's a good athlete and a good passer, so he can run the ball on set pieces as well as on improvisational scrambles while still being fully capable of throwing downfield. Said coach Todd Graham, "You can tell he's got a little experience."

What does Perkins bring to the table? He's the younger brother of former UCLA running back Paul Perkins, who was picked by the New York Giants in the fifth round of the NFL draft, so you figure he can run. Said Graham, "As far as the play action, getting the ball to the perimeter, he's got an 'it factor' to him." The question with Perkins is can he throw well enough to impress Graham and new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey.

What does White bring to the table? White is probably the best pure passer of the three but he's also the least natural runner. Said Graham, "Brady is a 4.0 student, highly intelligent kid who can really throw the football." He took more sacks during practices -- at least ones that were open to the media -- but he also showed improvement as a decision-maker as spring wore on.

Is one of the three QBs in the lead? If the Sun Devils were playing Saturday, it's likely Wilkins would start, but that doesn't mean too much right now. Recall that Taylor Kelly came out of the No. 3 spot post-spring practices in 2012 to beat out Bercovici and Michael Eubank. If there were a post-spring pecking order written in pencil, the order likely would Wilkins, White and Perkins. That said, Graham has also said he might play more than one QB early in the season to see how the respond.

What are coaches saying? Graham and Lindsey went to great lengths to give away nothing this spring, which typically meant praising all three. "One thing I like about all three of them is they can extend plays. They all are athletic guys. All three of them throw the ball extremely well," Graham said. "All three can run and throw. They are similar but they are also different as far as what they bring to the table."

What can we expect moving forward? Graham said he likely won't announce a starter until the week of the opener against Northern Arizona on Sept. 3, though he also said he expects to know who will start well before making it official. Opening against an FCS team means that he can also play more than one QB and experiment with scheme and situations without worrying about losing the game. It feels like every option is open here, from one guy winning the job and becoming a multi-year starter -- like Taylor Kelly -- or the Sun Devils playing more than one guy until one rises to the fore.