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What if...Brady White beat out Manny Wilkins?

White left for Memphis in 2018

New Mexico v Arizona State Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

When Brady White committed to Arizona State, he was rated the schools highest signee. White joined a quarterback room that had: Mike Bercovici, Bryce Perkins and Manny Wilkins. ASU seemed to have the perfect competition set for the end of the 2015 season with three freshman quarterbacks ready to battle for the starting job. In the 2016 season, with Bercovici graduated and Perkins injured, the battle was between Wilkins and White.

Wilkins won the starting job for the 2016 season and started 10 games for the Sun Devils. White saw playing time against USC and UCLA, but would be knocked out of the UCLA game due to an ankle injury. White never saw the field again as a Sun Devil, as he dealt with an ankle injury that would keep him out for the 2017 season.

White’s numbers with ASU was: 25 for 49 (51 percent) for 259 passing yards and two touchdowns to one interception.

White would go on to graduate in December 2017 and transfer to the University of Memphis to follow former offensive coordinator Mike Norvell. Since then, Sun Devil fans have watched White and Perkins (Virginia) take off with their new respective colleges.

Since joining the Tigers for the 2018 season as a redshirt sophomore, White has thrown for 7,310 yards, 59 touchdowns/20 interceptions and punched in five touchdowns. In the 2019 season, White led an undefeated Tigers team to the Cotton Bowl, where they would lose 53-39 to Penn Sate.

White enters the 2020 season as a redshirt senior and will look to build on a strong 2019 season and solidify himself as a 2021 NFL Draft pick.

As for Wilkins, he solidified himself as the Sun Devils starting quarterback since he got the job in 2016. He may have had a shaky first year but he vastly improved his skills in Todd Graham’s last year and the first year under Herm Edwards. Wilkins threw for 20 touchdowns in both his junior and senior season. Wilkins was a dual threat quarterback who kept defenses on their toes, as they had to watch what number five would do in the open field. Wilkins rushed for 20 touchdowns and would make weekly highlights, leaping over opposing players. At times though, Wilkins would try and do too much with his feet and defenses would adjust their gameplay to stop Wilkins in the open field.

If Brady White never had a serious ankle injury that kept him out for the entirety of the 2017 season, he could have competed for the starting job after the 2016 season.

While it would have been great to have consistent competition for the quarterback spot, White leaving for Memphis was the best thing to happen for both sides. He not only gets to showcase his skills but it allowed Wilkins to put his name up there with some of the Sun Devil greats.