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ASU Football Positional Preview: Quarterbacks

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There is more to this QB competition than may meet the eye.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest question marks for an Arizona State football team shrouded by questions is at the most scrutinized position.

Who will get the nod at quarterback for game one on August 31st against the New Mexico State Aggies?

Here are the choices: redshirt junior Manny Wilkins, redshirt sophomore Blake Barnett, sophomore Dillon Sterling-Cole or maybe somewhere down the line when he is fully healed, redshirt sophomore Brady White.

Although the field is really narrowed down to Wilkins and Barnett.

Option A: Manny Wilkins

As it stands right now this would be the safest and easiest option for head coach Todd Graham to turn to. Wilkins already knows the ASU offensive system inside and out, even if there is a new offensive coordinator. Wilkins is a very mobile quarterback, so his strength is always going to be on the run. If Wilkins wins the job, and he is rumored to be in the driver’s seat, expect to see a lot of moving out of the pocket and quick screen routes. It would be effective if he were to improve his downfield passing, and with a target like sophomore wide receiver N’Keal Harry it wouldn’t be asking too much. The Sun Devils will rely heavily on the running back core to be the rock in this offense.

Option B: Blake Barnett

The moment that Sun Devil nation found out a former Alabama quarterback was transferring over to the Valley of the Sun, they rejoiced. Then when it was released he wasn’t going to sit out, even better. Many even believed there was not going to be a competition for the starting job. Barnett was a highly touted high school prospect, rated the No. 1 pocket passer in his class, according to ESPN. If he wins the starting job, the Sun Devils may open up the playbook a little bit. While the majority of the offense would still derive from the running backs, Barnett is less of a dual threat than Wilkins, so he would be in a position to throw out of a stationary pocket. If the Sun Devils are running a smoke and mirrors tactic, Barnett would be the one running the offense come game time.

Option C: Dillon Sterling-Cole

Sterling-Cole got some reps in as a freshman last season. Only after both Wilkins and White went down with injury. While he didn’t take the world by storm, he showed signs of potential. If something were to happen and Sterling-Cole were to take over, he would more than likely stick in the pocket and pass from there. The more he progresses through he could turn into a fun talent for the Sun Devils to use in the future.

Option D: A healthy Brady White

Last year White stepped into the starting role after Wilkins found himself banged up. He was just beginning to feel comfortable and played a decent game against UCLA before going down toward the end of the game with a right foot injury. It would end his season. As another quarterback that was a top-100 recruit coming out of high school, White would provide the Sun Devils with a good pocket presence. White also has a live arm with above-average accuracy. Although, the Sun Devils would want him to be able to move in the pocket at a higher level than he has.