Fall camp kicks off for the 2016 Arizona State Sun Devils this week at Camp Tontozona.
As the team's on-field work begins, we have storylines for those in attendance to keep an eye on that will reveal more about this year's squad.
What We're All Thinking About
The Quarterback Situation
When Todd Graham arrived in 2012, there was a presumptive starting quarterback following spring, then a new starter emerged in the fall. The Sun Devils didn't exactly have a leader in the clubhouse following spring, however Camp T will (hopefully) provide us more insight as to who will be the starting quarterback when the season kicks off.
Making Sense of the Secondary
Graham has said he plans on rolling out a secondary featuring Laiu Moeakiola (bandit/spur) and Armand Perry (free safety) at the safety spots, with Kareem Orr (boundary corner) alongside either Gump Hayes, Maurice Chandler or J'Marcus Rhodes (field corner).
Last season, the ASU secondary was torched for an NCAA-worst 337.8 passing yards allowed per game. The defensive backfield was often placed in Cover 0 and Cover 1 scenarios, asking defenders to match up with receivers one-on-one; it was one of the consistent characteristics of Graham's exotic defensive looks.
During Pac-12 Media Days, he said he plans on utilizing more zone-pressure looks, relieving corners of frequent man-to-man duties.
This week, we may have a better idea of who will be lining up where and what responsibilities will be delegated to certain positions.
Graham has not been shy to discuss his admiration of defensive end Joseph Wicker's play since he stepped on the field as a true freshman in 2015. However, while Graham's praise has merit, Wicker must take the next step as a pass rusher in order to truly be considered one of the most dominant forces in the country, nonetheless the Pac-12.
As for the rest of the defensive line, Tashon Smallwood and Ami Latu will start alongside Wicker with the hopes of improving the unit's pass rush. Meanwhile, excitement concerning the potential of rotational players Jalen Bates and Renell Wren is reason to keep an eye on the guys putting their hands in the dirt.
Offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey produced not one, but two 1,000-yard rushers at Southern Mississippi last season. Spring ball performances suggest he has the chance to replicate that type of success with juniors Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage.
Just how does Lindsey plan on using two players capable of thriving in full-time roles? Will they split time or will each be featured on the field at the same time to keep defenses guessing?
The only returning starter is left tackle Evan Goodman—the rest of line is relatively inexperienced.
Stephon McCray has been listed as a potential starter at center or guard.
Entering the fall, Sam Jones has appeared to solidify his standing at left guard, and Quinn Bailey has appeared to lock down the right tackle position.
Tyler McClure is a candidate to start at center entering fall, but newly-arrived transfer A.J. McCollum may give him a run for the job.
On the EDGE
Outside linebackers Koron Crump and Malik Lawal were two of the spring standouts Graham vocalized his pleasure with, particularly when rushing the passer. Where do they fit in Graham's defense?
Joining the team in the fall is Dougladson Subtyl, someone whose ability should make him an instant candidate to immediately step in at Devilbacker.
Both JUCO transfers Chandler and Rhodes are expected to have significant roles at cornerback in 2016, but with Orr moving back to the boundary, this leaves the two battling for starting duty at field corner.
The runner-up will potentially see time as a nickel corner.
Once the state of Arizona's most coveted commit, receiver N'Keal Harry will finally join the team. However, while expectations are high, the position group is one of the ASU's deepest positions. This week will provide folks a glimpse of what Harry brings to the Sun Devils' offense.
Dillon Sterling-Cole adds a fourth arm to the quarterback battle. With no clear-cut starter determined, a strong showing can earn him consideration for the job.
The Real Issues
Manny Wilkins' Beard
He's embracing his inner Ryan Fitzpatrick, which could be a good thing (be the presumptive starter of his team) or a bad thing (be perpetually average).
Who's the Fastest?
The last we heard concerning the title of fastest on the team was that Ballage has an advantage on receiver Tim White, who previously outran Hayes.
Keep an eye out for any challenges on the field this week.
Here's the schedule for Camp T:
Wednesday, Thursday -- 8:30-11:45 a.m.
Friday -- 8:20-10:40 a.m.
Saturday -- 9:20 a.m.-12 p.m. (Scrimmage)