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ASU Football: Devil’s all-time top-10

Breaking down ASU’s best on the gridiron

Syndication: Arizona Republic David Wallace/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

With 100 days before Arizona State kicks off its 2023 season against Southern Utah, we’re breaking down the top-10 best Sun Devils to ever play in the maroon and gold. These players were compiled based on contributions to ASU while also taking statistics and success at the next level into account. One player will be released until the start of the season.

It is also important to note that this list is completely subjective.

No. 10: Brock Osweiler

The 6-foot-8, 240-pound quarterback was a three-year letterman from 2009-2011, throwing for 5,082 yards and 33 touchdowns in 25 career games while only starting starting in 15 of them.

Osweiler made his first career start versus Oregon in 2009, becoming the first true freshman to start since Jake Plummer in 1993 (hint, hint). While only playing six games his freshman year, he compiled 249 yards and two touchdowns off 24 completion.

ASU saw glimpses of Osweiler’s potential during his sophomore year after his stellar performance against UCLA, where he not only took over for an injured Steven Threet, but took over the game. He carried the Devils back from a 17-0 deficit, rattling off 55 unanswered to win 55-17. He had the best passing performance on Frank Kush Field since 2007 with 380 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. ASU’s 55 points were the second-highest against a Pac-12 (then Pac-10) school in ASU history.

Osweiler earned his first start of the 2010 season in the Territorial Cup in Tucson. There, he threw for 267 yards and a touchdown in an overtime thriller. His win brought the cup back to Tempe and earned him game MVP. He did not throw a single interception in his six games his sophomore year.

Osweiler had a historic breakout 2011 season before entering the 2012 NFL draft. He became the first ASU quarterback to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season with 4,036. He also set a new school record for completions (326) and attempts (516). And he did so in unique fashion, being the tallest quarterback in the nation.

As if that wasn’t already impressive, 26 of his 33 career touchdowns came during the 2011 season where he threw for over 300 yards six times, including four games over 350 yards. His most iconic performance came against rival Arizona in the Territorial Cup where he threw for a career-high 487 yards and 63 pass attempts.

Osweiler was part of one of the most hyped quarterback draft classes in recent history, joining the likes of Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Nike Foles, Kirk Cousins and Ryan Tannehill.

Osweiler was drafted by the Denver Broncos with the 57th overall pick in the second round.

After jumping ship on the Tim Tebow experiment, the Broncos decided to draft the tall gunslinger in hopes he would take over for Payton Manning, who signed with Denver in 2012. There, Osweiler saw minimal action, getting only his first real opportunity to play during the 2015 season when Manning went down with a injury. During his seven-game stint, Osweiler impressed, going 5-2. However, he returned to riding shotgun when the sheriff came back and eventually led Denver to victory in Super Bowl 50.

After finishing on top, Manning announced his retirement. The Broncos seemingly had their future quarterback now sitting atop the depth chart— or so they thought. After a promising showing in Denver, the Houston Texas poached Osweiler with a 4-year, $72 million contract, which he couldn’t resist.

Unfortunately, Osweiler struggled in his first year, throwing 16 interceptions to his 15 touchdowns before being yanked in week 15. From there, Osweiler was traded to the Cleveland Browns before finding himself bouncing around teams, never finding steady success. While his elite athleticism and strength were never in doubt, his mechanics and decision left a lot to be desired.