While many players have stepped up over the course of the offseason, Todd Graham called out four in particular for their leadership ability, by naming seniors Keelan Johnson, Brandon Magee, Cameron Marshall and Andrew Sampson as team captains on Sunday.
Johnson, one of the most physically talented players on the team, enters 2012 as a full-time starter for the first time in his career. A ballhawking safety, Johnson has improved greatly over this offseason and hopes to finally translate his immense potential into on-field production.
With the departure of Osweiler, the charismatic Magee has inherited the role as the face of the program, appearing on TV, radio and just everywhere else. The linebacker is returning after missing all of 2011 with an Achilles injury, and is primed to be one of the top defensive playmakers in the Pac-12, as evidenced by his selection to the Butkus Award watch list.
One of the nation's best kept secrets, Marshall enters 2012 within striking distance of several prestigious school rushing records. Last season, he ran for 1,050 yards and 18 touchdowns, and last month was named to both the Doak Walker and Maxwell Award watch lists.
Sampson enters his third season as a starter at guard. He started all 13 games last season after making eight starts in 2010. At 6-foot-4 and 301 pounds, Sampson is a high-motor player, and his experience and leadership along an otherwise inexperienced ASU offensive line will be a key factor in 2012.