It's Friday, and we at House of Sparky like to engage in a little pre-weekend debate from time to time, and today is no different.
Let's go with a straightforward question: Who had the more impressive debut season at ASU—Marion Grice or D.J. Foster?
Vote in our poll and then tell us why in the comment section.
The Case for Marion Grice
Coming to ASU as the nation's top ranked junior college back, Grice burst onto the scene with 107 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener against NAU. He had a relatively quiet next four games, as he had just 30 touches for 99 yards rushing and 88 yards receiving, although he did total three scores.
However, he really came on as a receiver beginning against Colorado. He had just one carry in the game for no gain, but he hauled in five passes for 101 yards and three scores. Two weeks later, he caught two more touchdown passes and ran another in against UCLA, an had another six receptions and a touchdown the next week against Oregon State.
After not topping 50 yards rushing since the opener, Grice saved his best for last, as he had 156 yards and three touchdowns on the ground against Arizona, including a sensational 52-yards score. His eight receiving touchdowns led all running backs in the nation, and his 17 total touchdowns are fifth in school history.
Grice continually showed off a powerful running style, and on the year, he only lost a total of five yards on his carries, a very impressive figure. His receiving skills were also outstanding. Whether it was taking a short screen and making defenders miss, or running routes downfield and making great leaping grabs, Grice showed off that he will be one of the top playmakers in the Pac-12 in 2013.
The Case for D.J. Foster
There's a lot of pressure for any top recruit, and even more when they decide to stay home. The burden of being a "hometown hero" can crush some players. For D.J. Foster, it drives them to become a freshman All-American.
Foster earned a starting spot in fall camp due to his gamebreaking ability and versatility, echoing the impact that Deantre Lewis had as a true freshman back in 2010. Lining up as a slot wide receiver,
Foster was on the receiving end of the season's very first play, catching a 16-yard pass from Taylor Kelly. Over the course of the season, the freshman running back proved to be the team's best wide receiver, being able to run both short and long routes with precision and haul in passes with sure hands, and as we saw against UCLA, he has a knack for making plays in the clutch.
On the year, he led the team with a 14.5 yards-per-reception mark, and his 522 receiving yards are just 30 off the school's freshman record. As a runner, the 6-foot, 190 pounder showed off surprising toughness and power, resulting in a game that can beat opponents with his rare explosiveness or by running over them.