Arizona State's quarterback competition is heating up, but redshirt freshman Bryce Perkins is out of the running for the starting job for the time being due to a neck injury suffered during Monday's practice, according to a source.
Perkins is expected to miss 8-to-12 weeks due to his injury sustained after being hit by a defensive player. It is unlikely Perkins will play this year and there's a possibility he could receive a medical hardship waiver at the end of the year. Either way, his eligibility wouldn't change in 2017. Perkins would have to have a second season significantly impacted by injury in order to gain a sixth season of eligibility.
On Tuesday morning, SunDevilSource reported ASU coaches earlier in the week discussed with Perkins the possibility of switching positions and playing a tight end or wide receiver type role.
After it was reported Perkins was considering transferring instead of switching positions, a source confirmed a subsequent conversation held between Perkins and ASU's coaches resulted in Perkins deciding to remain at ASU and continuing to play quarterback.
Perkins was not in attendance at Tuesday's practice, but his absence was not a result of the developing situation. Instead, Perkins was receiving medical attention after suffering the neck injury.
Perkins' injury impacted the deliberations process regarding a potential transfer that started on Monday, according to a source.
In the first week of preseason camp, Perkins appeared to be third on the depth chart based on allocation of reps as observed by reporters in attendance. He did not practice with the first or second team Saturday or Monday in the portions of practice open to media.
ASU begins fall classes on Aug. 18, and if Perkins decided to transfer, he would need to do so prior to that date in order to switch schools this fall.
When asked about whether Perkins was considering transferring, ASU head coach Todd Graham responded Tuesday morning by saying, "Not to my knowledge."
The first and second team reps during fall camp have largely been divided between sophomore Manny Wilkins and redshirt freshman Brady White, both of whom split reps with Perkins during the first two days of camp.
Since then, Perkins spent much of his time during the next two practices splitting third team reps with true freshman Dillon Sterling-Cole.
Timeline of events
August 3-5: ASU began fall camp by splitting veterans and newcomers into different practices. After spending the first day of fall camp with the newcomers, Perkins shared reps with Wilkins and White as ASU offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and Graham said they wanted to get all quarterbacks reps at the outset of camp. On Aug. 5, the veterans and newcomers merged together for the first time, and the trend of sharing first and second team reps among three quarterbacks continued.
August 6: In the portions of practice available for media viewing, Perkins clearly appeared to be behind both Wilkins and White as he practiced with the third team.
Beginning of this week: According to sources, Perkins met with ASU coaches regarding their suggestion he might want to consider a position change to a tight end/wide receiver/H-back type of role. According to sources, Perkins subsequently discussed this idea with his parents who were also involved in the conversation with ASU coaches.
August 8: Perkins split third team reps with Sterling-Cole and was injured late in Monday's practice when he was hit by a defensive player.
August 9: Perkins was not in attendance at Tuesday's practice, and when asked about a potential for Perkins to transfer, Graham said "Not to my knowledge."
Perkins was evaluated further on Tuesday and learned he would be out two-to-three months with a neck injury, per sources. The injury Perkins suffered impacted his deliberations process on the possibility of transferring.
Perkins then held another conversation with ASU coaches and both sides determined he would remain at quarterback.