Player capsule: Eric Lauderdale

What can Eric Lauderdale do to demonstrate he's ready for a significant role this season after having a challenging adjustment year that necessitated a redshirt in 2014?

Player Capsule: Eric Lauderdale

Position: Wide Receiver

Eligibility: Junior

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 190 pounds

2014 season quick review: Lauderdale arrived at ASU as one of the top junior college wide receiver prospects in the country and subsequently redshirted last season.

Wide Receivers Coach Del Alexander: "It was frustrating for him (redshirting), it has to be. He was a high level recruit looking for an opportunity to play and compete right away and then he is a redshirt. So there was frustration, but never did he not come out and show up. Never did he let that take away from who he was in terms of his character. I think he's poised to have a great camp.

"Sometimes what hurts a receiver is that a receiver doesn't know the plays and isn't confident going right or left on the snap of the ball and he's got a guy in his face. Now he's got way too much on his mind with the tempo of the offense and the ball being snapped. He's not processing as fast as we want. And he also has the coaches on him seeing how he can handle adversity. Sometimes that can be a setback. Some guys are going to do it wrong but do it fast. Other guys are going to say, 'I need a second because I'm going to do this slower but I'm going to do it right.' I want a fair evaluation but the game is pretty fast and these guys got to be ready right away."

SunDevilSource.com analysis: Playing at this level is often a major adjustment for wide receivers who have never dealt with option routes, getting off press coverage by Division I level cornerbacks, and operating at such a fast pace. All of those things and more were challenges for Lauderdale that prevented him from really showing what he was capable of from an athletic standpoint.

So much of the assimilation process for Lauderdale was just learning where to line up and do it quickly, how to read a defense within a play concept, how to get a release into his route at the line of scrimmage. It wasn't even about the part of football where he's naturally gifted, which is getting open in less of a structured setting, and especially making plays once he has the ball in his hands. There are so many things that have to come before that from a foundational standpoint, that we never even really saw what Lauderdale could do last season.

Now that he's got a year under his belt, he should have a much better grasp of the offensive concepts and what defenders are going to try to do to him. It's not going to be unexpected. His biggest challenge at this point in terms of getting into the playing rotation is being able to become more skilled at getting off press coverage. Most of what's limited Lauderdale happens either pre-snap or in the first second post-snap. Better anticipation and greater physicality are going to help Lauderdale get into more of a rhythm and then show what he's capable of athletically.

Projected depth chart status: We know that seniors D.J. Foster, Gary Chambers and Devin Lucien are going to be workhorse players at wide receiver and there will be two or three others who get regular reps. Lauderdale is battling with a half dozen others to be one of those guys, and his time on the field will primarily be spent backing up Chambers at the 5-receiver position. He's got enough versatility to play other roles, but only if he's able to demonstrate enough offensive fluency to warrant it. For now, holding off others, specifically Jalen Harvey and Tyler Whiley, in camp, would be a solid start.


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