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ASU Football: QB Battle update, more from fourth spring practice

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Perspective on the on-going quarterback battle and other notes from Monday’s session.

Photo taken by Nick Ramirez

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona State Sun Devils held their fourth practice of the spring Monday morning, returning to the Kajikawa Practice Fields outside of the Verde Dickey Dome. Players wore full padding for the second time this session, and worked through stretches, ball security, tempo, and individual drill periods during the media-viewing portion that spanned about 45 minutes.

Attire: Pads (Second time this spring.)

Previous Practice: Saturday, March 18; Gallery, VIDEOSpring Practice Stream Link
Next Practice: Wednesday, March 22 (Practices are not open to public.)

Music: Du hast (Rammstein), Country Grammar [Hot Sh*t] (Nelly)

Podium Speakers (Video will accompany bottom of post later.): Head coach Todd Graham

Report

Personnel

Spring Green (non-contact jerseys)

  • Bryce Perkins (QB), participated in individual drills
  • Cade Cote (OL), participated in individual drills
  • Kareem Orr (CB), participated in individual and team tempo drills
  • Marcus Ball (S), participated in individual drills

Injuries

  • Armand Perry (S) - OUT (surgery), will be out for entirety of spring practices, per Graham. Has not been present at practices.
  • Brady White (QB) - OUT (foot), will be out for entirety of spring practices (has taken part in individual drills, and threw to receivers Monday during individual drills), per Graham.
  • Jalen Bates (DL) - Limited (surgery), per Graham.
  • Eno Benjamin (RB) - Limited (surgery), per Graham.
  • Drew McIntyre (LB) - OUT (arm), didn’t participate in drills.
  • Tyler Whiley (DB) - did not participate in drills Monday.

Storylines

Returned to Practice

  • Cameron Smith (WR) — was fully suited, but did not participate in drills.
  • J’Marcus Rhodes (DB) — was not fully suited Monday, sporting a helmet but no pads. Did not participate in drills.
  • Zach Robertson (OL) — was at practice but did not participate in drills, but was fully suited.

Still Waiting

  • Cornerback Robbie Robinson still has yet to report to spring practice. There has been worry the sophomore is transferring from the team. Nothing has been confirmed or made official by the program as of now.

Updating the QB Battle

It’s only the fourth spring practice, but the quarterback battle has clearly been narrowed down to two: Manny Wilkins and Blake Barnett. They were the only QBs taking reps in tempo drills.

Wilkins had the more accurate arm both in the flats and downfield, and was seen running routes to help the other quarterbacks develop their timing. Although he’s emerged as a leader on the field as well as the depth chart thus far, his long release and mechanics limit his arm strength and it shows on deep routes.

Barnett has demonstrated early on that he understands what he needs to work on, but has struggled to translate that to actual improvement on the field. Under-throwing passes within 10 yards was a staple of Barnett’s struggles in Tuscaloosa and has continued in practice this year with short out routes. The Alabama transfer also has a strong arm but occasionally overthrew receivers downfield this morning.

Some other quarterback notes today: Bryce Perkins was in a green non-contact jersey but was very accurate in just about every route the receivers ran today. His recovery from last year’s neck injury seems all but complete.

Max’s Clubhouse Leader/If the season started today, I’d say: Manny Wilkins.

Notes

  • Tight end Jay Jay Wilson, cornerback Chase Lucas and linebacker Khaylan Thomas were escorted late to practice and did not participate in drills Monday.
  • Transfer defensive lineman Jordan Hoyt continues to see time with the early defensive unit groupings.
  • There’s plenty of depth at receiver, as the early units continue to rotate several members in and out.

Videos

Todd Graham

Any questions, just send them to the comments section. I’ll try to be around.