USA TODAY Sports
Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly wins House of Sparky's Breakout Player of the Year. Kelly set numerous statistical records along the way, beat U of A and got a bowl victory. Not bad for a first-year starting quarterback.
How many Sun Devil fans knew who Taylor Kelly was last July? Many Sun Devil supporters who did know Kelly, saw him as the "Other Guy." The quarterback behind Mike Bercovici and Michael Eubank on the depth chart, so many were surprised when Todd Graham named Kelly the starting quarterback back in August.
In his first collegiate start, the redshirt sophomore went 15-for-19 with 247 passing yards and a touchdown in ASU's 63-6 throttling of NAU. Kelly never looked back, throwing for over 3,000 yards and 29 touchdowns in his first season as Arizona State's starting quarterback.
The Eagle, Idaho, native started all 13 games in 2012, he had a quarterback rating of 159.9, and a completion percentage of 67.1%, a school record.
He left little doubt who the starting quarterback for the Sun Devils was, leading many to question Todd Graham went Kelly was taken out of games.
There were many highs for Kelly this season. He set a school record for consecutive completions (18) on November 17th against Washington State.
He threw for three touchdowns or more in six games this season, and he is the first quarterback since Rudy Carpenter to lead his team to a bowl victory and a victory over Arizona in the same season.
Kelly became the quarterback that fit Todd Graham's scheme like a glove. He was accurate, smart and could tuck the ball and run when he needed to. He only finished two games this season with a quarterback rating under 100.
Kelly's season culminated in his performance on Saturday in San Francisco, where he went 17-19 with 268 yards and four touchdowns.
Yes, Taylor Kelly had two more touchdowns than incompletions, not a bad way for Kelly to finish off his breakout season for the 2012 ASU football team.
Up next in our series of awards for the ASU football team is Top Newcomer coming at you tomorrow.