With new recruits set to arrive in the summer and many returning players still nursing lingering injuries, the Arizona State spring practice squad is a shell of what the full team will look like this fall.
Tuesday marked the start of the Sun Devils' 15-practice spring ball schedule and that allowed Todd Graham and his staff to perform preliminary evaluations of Arizona State's depth moving forward.
The Sun Devils performed a variety of team drills, and that gave us an opportunity to determine where each player stands on a way-too-early depth chart.
House of Sparky will update the "two-deep" depth throughout the spring and provide updates as players move up, down, and around the chart. By the end of the spring, we should have a fairly solid idea of where the Sun Devils' position battles will stand heading into fall camp.
Based off of Tuesday's team drills, here is the information we gathered on each side of the ball.
Offensive Depth Chart
Returning Starters in Italics
|Quarterback||Running Back||Tight End|
|Taylor Kelly||D.J. Foster||De'Marieya Nelson|
|Mike Bercovici||Deantre Lewis||Grant Martinez|
Notes: Kelly, Foster and Nelson are shoe-ins to win the starting jobs at their positions this fall. Foster started in the slot last season, but he made the transition to running back when Marion Grice was injured late in the season and proved he had the durability to be an every-down back. Deantre Lewis split second team reps with Kyle Middlebrooks, and both players will likely figure into the team's plans this season, especially considering both can catch the ball well out of the backfield.
The Sun Devils are thin at tight end, and Grant Martinez will need to add bulk to his frame if the Sun Devils want to consider running their '12' personnel. Offensive coordinator Mike Norvell described the '12' personnel as a two-tight end set, and the Sun Devils used Chris Coyle and Nelson in that set together last year.
|Wide Receiver (X)||Wide Receiver (Y)||Wide Receiver (Z)|
|Jaelen Strong||Gary Chambers||Fred Gammage|
|Ellis Jefferson||Cameron Smith||Daniel Groebner|
Notes: Of all the positional charts to disregard in the spring, this one is the easiest. The Sun Devils are bringing in a slew of recruits and the depth chart will look significantly different by the end of fall camp. On Tuesday, Fred Gammage did show that he developed nice chemistry with Taylor Kelly as the quarterback hit him on three separate occasions during a team period.
On Monday, Norvell mentioned that Jefferson and Smith were both candidates to receive a lot of playing time this season, and that could allow the Sun Devils to redshirt four-star recruit Jalen Harvey. Harvey and fellow recruits Tyler Whiley and junior college transfer Eric Lauderdale are expected to be impact players at wide receiver.
|Left Tackle||Left Guard||Center||Right Guard||Right Tackle|
|Evan Goodman||Jamil Douglas||Nick Kelly||Vi Teofilo||Tyler Sulka|
|Jack Powers||Christian Westerman||Devin Goodman||Stephon McCray||William McGehee|
Notes: A mild surprise from Tuesday's practice revealed that Christian Westerman was not on the first team offensive line. Westerman excelled in positional drills and is among the most violent linemen when using his hands, and it would be a significant development if he was not starting this fall.
The coaching staff is very high on Goodman and Kelly, and despite losing two starters, Arizona State believes its offensive line has the potential to improve this season because of this pair. Expect Jamil Douglas to work at tackle this spring to hone his skills in the event that Arizona State believes Goodman will be the odd-man out to get Westerman in the lineup.
Defensive Depth Chart
Returning Starters in Italics
|Mo Latu||Demetrius Cherry||Marcus Hardison|
|Corey Smith||Zach Abdorrahimzadeh||Edmond Boateng|
|Chans Cox||Salamo Fiso||Antonio Longino||Laiu Moeakiola|
|Viliami Latu||Eriquel Florence||Alani Latu||D.J. Calhoun|
|Boundary Corner||Boundary Safety||Field Safety||Field Corner|
|Rashad Wadood||Ezekiel Bishop||Damarious Randall||Lloyd Carrington|
|William Earley||Jordan Simone||James Johnson||Solomon Means|