First-team QB snaps awarded to Kelly

Head Coach Todd Graham announced today that the first team snaps at quarterback will be awarded to sophomore Taylor Kelly, a decision that helps the staff reduced the division of reps as fall camp progresses. However despite saying that Kelly would be the starter if the season started today, Graham stressed that no starter has been named and that the quarterback competition for now remains open

None of the three signal callers are willing to give up on their chance to be the team's leader. They have all had good practices, and have shown a flash of what the offense is capable of being led by their individual style of play.

With all of the uncertainty surrounding the position, all of the quarterbacks still remain confident that they can lead the Sun Devil Offense.

"I would love to be the full-fledged starter and believe that I can become the starter, but I am thankful for the opportunity that I have." Redshirt freshman Michael Eubank says, "I will prepare myself for any situation and be ready. I just thank God for giving me the opportunity to see the field this year."

Taylor Kelly concurs with that sentiment, but admits that there is still a lot of work to be done.

"I have to improve every day and come out with that fire in my eye and compete to stay with the first team," Kelly commented. "I have to come out better than I did today [to be the starter] and I have to hold the ball better if I want to be starter."

Fellow sophomore Mike Bercovici knows that the nature of this competition dictates that some players are going to get more reps than others, but feels the unbalance in snaps can lead to some inconsistent play.

"It's tough to get a rhythm especially in crunch time," Bercovici explains. "Sometimes you will barely miss a wide receiver on a route, and you know if you have another shot at it you would make that pass. It's especially tough in scrimmages when you have to wait ten minutes to get back on the field.

"Even though [it's tough to get a rhythm], it's our job as quarterbacks to make the throws, there is no excuse."

All three signal callers felt that the scrimmage on Saturday was very beneficial in giving them self-assurance while showing them what they need to work on.

"The scrimmage gave me confidence that I am improving" Kelly said, "but I still need to try to improve every day and to have great focus every day to compete. I've been doing a good job of going through my reads and my progressions to be on time with my feet, but I still need to keep improving on that.

"We have to get our offense crisper and more efficient."

"The scrimmage on Saturday was rough as an offensive unit, [we were] not as good as we could have been," Bercovici admitted. "We learned a lot afterwards watching film. I am confident we can learn and can make progress from the scrimmage.

"The main thing that I learned was that I need to trust the offense. Sometimes I am driven to score, and try to make first downs, and I put the ball in jeopardy. Their [coaching staff] number one goal is ball security and to trust the offense, we see it everywhere even in our playbooks. I need to stop pressing to score and just trust the offense."

Eubank agreed with the other two quarterback's comments and is a lot more poised following the scrimmage.

"I came out of the scrimmage feeling great," Eubank described. "It gave me great confidence that I am able to make accurate throws now. It assured me that I know the offense better now than I did in the spring, and that I will be able to make the throws I need to make during games."

The next crucial step for the three quarterbacks will be their performance at Camp Tontozona, as Graham is expected to name a starter following their stay in the pines near Payson. Therefore, the rest of this week is another crucial time to impress the coaches.

"I'm excited for Camp Tontozona," Kelly said. "I've heard good stories and bad stories about it. I'm excited to compete, for the team camaraderie, and for being with the guys up there."

Eubank has a little bit of a different attitude concerning the sessions up north.

"My mindset going into Camp T is to come out of camp with a job," Eubank said. "If coach [Graham] believes that we should split time as quarterbacks, that's his decision and I will support the team and compete to win games.

"Although, I am definitely looking forward to the opportunity to try to win the job for myself."


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