Player capsule: Christian Westerman

Christian Westerman gives Arizona State a physical presence on the interior of its offensive line, and is one of four potential senior starters.

Player Capsule: Christian Westerman

Position: Offensive Guard

Eligibility: Senior

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 301 pounds

2014 season quick review: Westerman earned honorable mention all-conference honors as Arizona State's starting left guard, providing the type of high level run blocking that was expected of him when he became a high profile transfer to the Sun Devils from Auburn.

Offensive line coach Chris Thomsen: "He had some great games but he also had some times where, 'this is a little bit new to me on what I'm doing.' So I think that experience level, you know, I love the way he plays. He's a tough guy too, he missed the Utah game because he got hurt in Washington and even as late as Wednesday we didn't think he was going to play against Notre Dame. Then about that Wednesday he said everything started feeling better, he said 'Coach I think I can do this,' and he played his best game. But I do think he learned as the season progressed how hard it is to maintain [his health]. Any player that hasn't been through a full year, thats just the toughest part is how you stay focused through this grind, that's why he's gonna be better, he knows what to expect."

SunDevilSource.com analysis: Arguably the most physical run blocker of Arizona State's offensive line, Westerman is extremely strong and particularly punishing in tight quarters. As left guard, he also showcased good range in ASU's power and kick out run blocking schemes, which require him to get out and run in space. Locating and effectively breaking down for second-level blocks is an area Westerman has worked to develop in the last year, showing some improvement in this area as the season wore on and into fall practice.

Some of the keys for Westerman are patience and vision. When he's operating with great awareness and is dialed into locating his run blocks and has the comfort to wait for things to full set up, he's very potent. Sometimes he doesn't fully tap into his power as as blocker but not getting everything -- arms/hands/base -- synced up to maximize his strength. Similarly, patience as as pass protecter is an area of focus for Westerman. His punch is downright violent when he's vertical and over his feet and times it well.

Westerman is a no-frills player. He enjoys doing his job, being nasty at it, giving service to the overall success of the team. When the timing all comes together, which is primarily experience-based, he's an all-league type of offensive guard. He didn't play a lot for several years during his time and Auburn and the year after that while redshirting at ASU, so last season was a lot about knocking off rust, getting fully immersed in terms of pace and timing, and he'll only further improve from here as long as he remains healthy.

Projected depth chart status: Westerman is pretty well locked into a staring role in 2015, but it may not necessarily be at the left guard spot he manned last season. Though that's his most likely landing spot, if the Sun Devils need to slide Westerman to right tackle in order to get the best five players on the field together, he might be able to successfully manage that role. He's never worked at tackle at ASU, but played the position previously in his career.


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