Who’s under center? ASU’s starting QB remains a mystery

It’s been a year since Arizona State totally revamped the look of Sun Devil Athletics, changing from the iconic Sparky the Sun Devil to a more sophisticated and stylized pitchfork.  The pitchfork was chosen as a symbol of power and intimidation but, as Todd Graham brings the Sun Devils closer to their Camp Tontozona weekend and the start of the 2012-2013 season, one question remains: who is going to be wielding that power on the field?

And of course I’m talking about the quarterback – he’s the man to lead the offense, work the huddle, and maintain that swagger that rallies his teammates to the cause.  While last year’s leader (Brock Osweiler) is currently experiencing his first taste of life in the NFL (including training camp and casual encounters with Snoop Dogg), no one has yet to be named to the starting job.  That’s not to say that each of the three contenders hasn’t had his shining moments of glory in practice, just that Todd Graham is exercising his option to fully evaluate each player before he determines who will take the first snap on August 30th.

Let’s meet the candidates:

Michael Eubank #18 is a redshirt freshman standing tall at 6’5”, who brings one year of scout team experience to the table from the 2011 Sun Devil season.  He maintains a powerful throwing arm, but his running ability (and his 242 lbs) gives him an edge when it comes to powering through with the football.

Mike Bercovici #2 might be the second Michael in the running, but he saw quality game time last season (in the UC Davis and Colorado games) and his outspoken nature has earned him the nickname ‘Berco’ from his teammates.  Bercovici made a splash with his initial entrance to the Sun Devil scene last year, utilizing his quick release and strong throwing arm to prove a strong second to Osweiler’s starting role.

Taylor Kelly #10 (#15 below), the third and final contender for the title of Sun Devil starting QB, has the most experience with the team in terms of time (2010 on the scout team, 2011 as a back-up).  A bit more soft-spoken than Berco and Eubanks, Taylor is still an amiable interviewee, opening up to the press about his love for cars and his continued improvement on his intermediate and downfield passing.

There’s a lot that goes in to snagging the #1 QB spot – it’s physical ability, mental acuity, and more confidence than you can shake a stick at.  Each of the candidates has shades of each, but who has enough to edge out the others?  Crowd-sourcing the question (as azcentral.com did) demonstrates Michael Eubank’s popularity, as 55.57% of 11824 respondents selected him as the likely starter.  Bets are being made by the Sun Devil faithful about who will be crowned the starting QB.  I’d say smart money’s on Bercovici, but time will tell (and everybody is convinced of the accuracy of their opinion).  Some will be right, some will be wrong, but everyone’s hoping that the man who takes snaps under center will prove worthy of the pitchfork that adorns his uniform.

Taylor Kelly, Michael Eubank and Mike Bercovici

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