Newcomer watch: Who will see the field?

Freshman cornerback Kareem Orr (pictured) appears to have played his way off the redshirt list and defensive end Jalen Bates has had the biggest rise over the last week.

Please keep in mind as you read this, it is in order of which players are most to least likely to get at least one in-game rep for Arizona State in the 2015 season. This is not a ranking of the newcomers expected to make the biggest impact this season or in their overall college career.

Will play this season (Previous rank in parentheses)

1. Devin Lucien (1) -- A fifth-year post-graduate transfer from UCLA, Lucien is the leading candidate to start at ASU's boundary side wide receiver position. He'll definitely play.

2. Raymond Epps (2) -- He's a three to play three player out of the junior college ranks and ASU is thin at tight end, so Epps will play. He's a long way from displaying high level competency, but he's going to be on the field at least some, primarily in ASU's two tight end formations.

3. Tim White (3) -- A redshirt junior, White doesn't have a redshirt year at his disposal and it doesn't matter anyway as he was in the race to be a starter before hurting his left wrist in Saturday's scrimmage. He's lean and could use additional size and strength, but White's immediately one of the most athletic players on the roster. As long as he's healthy he'll be on the field quite a bit.

4. Joseph Wicker (4) -- Despite being a true freshman, Wicker is a candidate to start at multiple positions on the defensive front. He'll definitely play a lot and could be the Sun Devils' lone true freshman starter. Not only is his future extremely bright, he's got a chance to be a good player for ASU in 2015.

5. Nick Ralston (6) -- Ralston is someone who could serve a role for the Sun Devils even though he's likely to not play a ton of reps. He's probably ASU's top fullback type player -- someone who can lead block, catch the ball out of the backfield, and be a short yardage ball carrier. He may eventually, in time, remind some of the fullbacks at ASU from a decade or two ago, like Mike Karney or Jeff Paulk.

6. Kareem Orr (9) -- Though they have three seniors, the Sun Devils aren't particularly deep at cornerback, and Orr has pushed up to the point that he's got a great chance to be the team's No. 4 cornerback and a special teams player. It's even possible he could challenge senior Solomon Means to be the No. 3 corner.

Decent chance to play this season

7. Jay Jay Wilson (7) -- After practicing in a limited capacity during ASU's first couple practices, Wilson was moved to Devil backer and has earned second and even first-team reps at times in camp there as ASU coaches try to determine his overall capability in the short and long term. It's still borderline on if he'll play but Wilson has a good shot.

8. Jason Lewis (10) -- If Lewis had been on ASU's campus early in the summer like a lot of players he would be higher on this list. He also has versatility as an offensive back who can play different roles. That helps his chance of seeing the field, so it's very possible he could carve out a role of some kind, whether that's as a bigger ball carrier or receiving/blocking option.

9. Jalen Bates (18) -- This will be a good year for Bates to grow into his terrific frame. He's a 'tweener right now, in the middle of a Devil and defensive end, but Bates has done great against the third-team and then showed his high ceiling as a pass rusher against the second and even first group this week. He just might be able to play on nickel downs, or more. He's the biggest surprise relative to expectation.

10. Deonte Reynolds (8) -- He's very late arriving so it's not a foregone conclusion that Reynolds will see the field even as a junior college transfer. We'll have to see what kind of shape he's in and how quickly he's able to get up to speed. If he isn't ready, he's probably headed for a redshirt year in the way Demetrius Cherry did out of the junior college ranks.

Outside possibility to play this season

11. Terrell Chatman (11) -- Physically, Chatman has impressive tools and he made a positive impression on players and support staff with his workouts this summer. But he's been slowed by a hamstring injury in camp and others have done well so it looks like best case scenario Chatman is battling for the final spot in the rotation.

12. Thomas Hudson (5) -- ASU is thin on scholarship bodies at the tight end position, especially guys who can play the in-line position and Hudson arrived on campus as the biggest and heaviest player at the position group on the roster. That alone put him in strong consideration, but he's not yet shown he possesses enough developed skill at this early stage, so a redshirt is very plausible.

13. Steve Miller (13) -- Freshmen offensive linemen rarely come in ready to play but Miller is a good looking 315 pounds and already had the spring to acclimate. He's probably one or two offensive line injuries from being a legitimate candidate for playing time, so it can't be ruled out.

14. Khaylan Thomas (14) -- Odds are good Thomas redshirts because he's the third-team WILL even though he sometimes practices with the second unit because one of the two guys above him also works in the two-deep at Devil. Thomas reminds us a bit of a Chris Young type of player, a thicker guy who can play WILL or Spur.

Very likely to redshirt this season

15. Bo Wallace (15) -- Wallace is unlikely to play, especially because he's another late arriving player to Tempe. But Todd Graham has shown that he's willing to throw a lot of guys into the fire at key defensive positions like Devil, Wallace is a lanky athlete who should eventually be a pressure option, and if he displayed that from the get go, he can't be ruled out as a playing option.

16. Zach Robertson (13) -- Robinson came into camp leaner than we expected and said he'd lost 25 pounds since arriving in Tempe. But the older offensive tackles ahead of him on the depth chart have held up well and Robertson would be at best the No. 4 option, maybe No. 5 behind Miller, so he's likely headed for a redshirt.

17. Malik Lawal (16) -- This is the guy whose film probably reminds us most of Carl Bradford since Bradford set the Devil backer mold at ASU in Graham's first two years. Lawal is shorter and explosive and strong. But he's coming off an ACL injury, so that's a question mark.

18. Brady White (17) -- Ideally ASU would redshirt both of its incoming freshmen quarterbacks and we expect that's what will happen. The only caveat here is if Mike Bercovici is hurt. There's no reason for ASU to burn a redshirt year for mop up duty. But if its starter goes down, then the next quarterback will be whomever is considered the second best at the end of August. Sophomore Manny Wilkins didn't separate clearly from White in the spring to our eye, so this competition will continue.

19. Bryce Perkins (20) -- We think Perkins has as high of a ceiling as Brady White given his size and athletic attributes as well as his incredible rate of improvement over the last two years, but have him a slight notch lower than White here only because White had the spring practice schedule to learn the system and assimilate and Perkins did not. That said, Perkins' first two weeks were extremely good.

20. Cade Cote (21) -- ASU's offensive line is relatively deep and talented so there's no reason to think Cote will see the field. It's not a rotation position and not one that true freshmen tend to play. Cote has worked with the second-team at center, but would be behind Stephon McCray there, and possibly others. This is about as sure a redshirt as there is on the team, along with...

21. Mason Walter (22) -- Walter's in the same situation as Cote. We put Cote ahead of Walter because Cote can play guard, center and tackle and Walter projects as more of a tackle. So there's just a versatility edge with Cote. Neither is playing unless there are catastrophic injuries across ASU's front.

22. Dillon Faamatau (19) -- An offensive linemen, Faamatau suffered a knee injury during the summer and had surgery and will redshirt.

Biggest movers: Bates -- 9 spots up; Hudson -- 7 spots down.

Editor's note: Freshman defensive tackle George Lea is unranked because he's been suspended for the season by ASU.


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