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Milestone Monday: Chris Coyle

Some Sun Devil records are poised to fall this season. Is the single season touchdown reception mark for tight ends one of them? Find out what our writers have to say.

Will we see more than six touchdown celebrations from Chris Coyle this year? Our staff is split.
Will we see more than six touchdown celebrations from Chris Coyle this year? Our staff is split.

This week's edition of Milestone Mondays features Sun Devil tight end Chris Coyle. Last season, Coyle was Taylor Kelly's favorite target as he amassed 57 receptions, 696 yards, and five touchdowns. Coyle's five touchdown catches fell one short of the single season school record for a tight end shared by Zach Miller (2004) and Joe Perry (1971). After a solid season and an impressive spring game for Coyle, the House of Sparky staff debates whether this is the year Coyle stakes his name to the record books.

The Roundtable

Kerry Crowley: Even though we're talking about "Tight End U", the single season record for touchdown receptions by a tight end at Arizona State is just six. Zach Miller and Joe Petty have both accomplished the feat, and now I believe it's time for the torch to be passed to Chris Coyle. I think Coyle surpasses the record with ease this season and I don't think it's out of the question for the big man to catch upward of eight or nine touchdowns.

Coyle's got everything going for him in terms of being a red-zone threat. He's Taylor Kelly's favorite target, Mike Norvell loves to draw up plays for him, and he demonstrated a knack for finding the end zone last season. Furthermore, Coyle's three touchdown catches in the spring game would have helped him to the halfway point of the record, and those stats came after playing about six series on offense. After this season, I think Chris Coyle will have a spot all his own in the Sun Devil record books.

Cody Ulm: I know he has the ability to and it certainly wouldn't surprise if he finished with around eight TD grabs but I'm going to go ahead and say Coyle won't break the record. The big tight end's best opportunity to break the record was last season with ASU having no real receiving threats and Coyle not really being factored into the defense game-planning in the early going. Somehow though, he still only finished with five touchdowns. Coyle doesn't have the game-breaking speed to bust off huge touchdowns and you have to think that defenses aren't going to let him get his in the redzone since he's the largest (and most proven) target on the field. For those reasons, I just really can't see it. If I had to guess, I'd say he finishes between 4-5 touchdowns and 600-700 receiving yards. To be honest, I really feel that last season might be his best statistical year. And that's no knock on his talent; that's purely because of the situation he's in. Coyle was the only thing working many times last season and yet he didn't get the ball nearly as much as one might expect. What's going to change this year?

Ben Haber: At first glance, I definitely believed Chris Coyle would surpass the ASU tight end touchdown record at six. However, I agree with the wise Cody Ulm, Coyle's best shot was last season. The new talented incoming wide receivers could help Coyle out, yet they may also cause the wealth to be spread out. Until Jaelen Strong, Kevin Ozier and company prove themselves, defenses will challenge Taylor Kelly to target others besides Coyle. I could never coach football, but taking away what a team does best is a good start.

ASU's best passing threat is clearly Coyle, therefore he will attract extra attention and should see decreased numbers. To clarify, I still expect Coyle to be productive and even improve despite lower statistics. On the contrary, the domino effect Coyle provides could be his biggest contribution. In addition, Coyle has placed an emphasis on getting better at blocking, and rightfully so. Coyle isn't practicing blocking for no reason, it's because he expects to do so more often, meaning less touchdown opportunities. If Coyle can prove me wrong, which I wouldn't bet against, Mike Norvell's offense could average 40 plus points.

Ryan Bafaloukos: I am going to agree with Kerry and say that he will in fact break the record. The first reason why I say so is the emergence of Taylor Kelly. I believe that Kelly will play much better than he did last season because he just seems so much more comfortable now than where he was a year ago.

The second reason is that Coyle is still Kelly's favorite target. When a quarterback establishes a favorite target he just seems to find that target on the field (see Tom Brady and Wes Welker). Teams will be gearing up to stop Arizona State on the ground meaning Kelly will have to make plays through the air and I believe that he will go to Coyle for at least six touchdowns.

Mitch Terrell: I also agree with Kerry and Ryan in that Chris Coyle will definitely catch more than six touchdowns this season. Eight or nine is a very realistic number like Kerry said, and even ten is something I could see from him.

With the wide receivers on hand, I think it could be detrimental for Coyle to have at least eight this upcoming season for them to have a chance at the Rose Bowl. He will definitely draw much more attention, but with the weapons in the backfield, Coyle will find a number of wide open endzone opportunities.

Previous Milestone Mondays

Will Sutton

Kevin Ozier

Alden Darby