Arizona State football is riding on a high right now.
After the 62-28 decimation of the Naval Academy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, the Sun Devils are looking forward to one of their best seasons in recent memory.
A couple weeks ago, I examined the biggest roles that needed to be filled, now I will be looking forward to the projected depth chart in the 2013 season.
There has been a lot of hullabaloo about head coach Todd Graham’s gypsy nature when it comes to changing jobs on a whim. Daria Del Colliano of Arizona Sports reports ASU’s athletic director Steve Patterson is confident that Graham is staying put despite the departure of running backs coach Larry Porter to the University of Texas.
Dig in and find out the early predictions of Arizona State’s offensive depth chart.
Taylor Kelly cemented a starting position for next year behind center with an absolutely incredible season for the Sun Devils. His 29 touchdowns on the year were second-best in Arizona State history, one behind Rudy Carpenter.
His Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl game was one of his best days as a quarterback, with a completion ratio of 17-of-19 for 268 and four touchdowns. He also added 81 rushing yards and his first career rushing touchdown. His rating of 277.4 was by far the best of his short career.
Redshirt freshman Michael Eubank filled in admirably last year on short-yardage and goal-line situations and compiled four passing and four rushing touchdowns on the year.
Backup quarterback Mike Bercovici redshirted due to injury, and the Sun Devils received an early commitment from 3-star quarterback Joshua Dobbs from Alpharetta, Ga.
It was tough to see one of the greatest running backs in Sun Devil history, Cameron Marshall, play his final game in a Sun Devil uniform on Saturday, but know this: The backfield will be just fine without him.
Marion Grice (pictured) is ready to shoulder the load for Coach Graham and whomever the the new running backs coach will be.
Grice finished the year as the Sun Devils’ leading rusher with 679 yards and second-best receiver with 425. He had 11 rushing touchdowns and eight receiving touchdowns, the most by a running back in the nation. His 19 total touchdowns were third most in the Pac-12 Conference and tied for 12th in the country with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Freshman sensation D.J. Foster was also electric in his first year. He averaged nearly five yards per carry and scored two rushing touchdowns. He was even better out of the backfield, averaging 14 yards per reception and four touchdowns. He suffered a concussion in the bowl game, but will be ready to go stronger than ever in 2013.
Aside from the bowl game, where senior WR Rashad Ross had a banner game, Arizona State rarely used its wide receivers in the 2012 season.
Kevin Ozier and Alonzo Agwuenu will return for their senior season next year and make contributions, but will most likely take a back seat to stand out tight Chris Coyle (pictured) that finished the season with the most catches by a tight end in Arizona State history.
Coyle finished the season as the nation’s third-best tight end in receptions (57) and fourth-best in total yards (696).
The Sun Devils were pushing hard for two 4-star recruits in Beau Sandland and Eldridge Massington. Sandland committed to Miami (FL), and Massington switched his commitment from USC to USC.
Juniors Evan Finkenberg (pictured) and Kody Koebensky will be returning to solidify the offensive line with sophomore Jamil Douglas.
There is a possibility that hometown transfer student Christian Westerman might not have to sit out the 2013 season after leaving Auburn amidst the turmoil with Gene Chizik and the program. If the school is levied with NCAA sanctions, Westerman will be eligible to play.
This would be a huge get for coach Graham and the Sun Devils, as Westerman was the No.1 recruit in the state in 2011 before he left for Auburn.
I am truly excited for the possibilities for the Sun Devils next year, and this is just talking about their offense. Although there was a midseason lull where they lost four in a row, they rebounded and won their final three games in convincing fashion.
The quarterbacks are going to be great, their running backs are going to be better and their tight end is spectacular.
Let’s hope that Westerman gets cleared to play in 2013 on the line and the offense will be set to have a great season.
Left lane, hammer down!