Osweiler Hits the Ground Running

As a rare mid-year high school transfer, Brock Osweiler knew that he was in an ideal situation to possibly contribute as a true freshman. The quarterback arrived on campus two months before spring practice started, and since then he has been preparing himself to transition to the next level. Judging by his performance in the first week of spring, his efforts have been paying off.

The 6-8 237 Brock Osweiler has a good practice last Saturday and was complimented a few times by head coach Dennis Erickson during drills. In that day's scrimmage, he showed a very nice touch on his throws and overall good decision making during his first taste of a college football scrimmage.

"It felt really good," he said of his performance. "There's definitely a few things I can take from this scrimmage that I need to work on, improve on. But the biggest thing is that I learned today and hopefully that will teach me not to make the same mistakes again. Things are going very well after the first week."

While an official depth chart hasn't been compiled yet, on Saturday, Osweiler appeared to be the third quarterback on that list. The freshman said that he really didn't know what to expect the first week of spring practice, and thus is naturally elated to be as high up the signal caller hierarchy as he is now.

"I competed hard this week and like I said there's some stuff I can take away from this first week and improve on for next week," Osweiler remarked. "I just want to get better each time I'm out there."

Not only did the Kalispell, Mont. product participate in the team's off-season strength and conditioning program, but he put in several hours each week alone studying game film, as well as participating in informal workouts tossing the pigskin with the other team's quarterbacks and receivers.

"It was just huge for me to come down here in January," Osweiler admitted. "Spending all that time in the film room has definitely put me in the position I'm at right now. If I didn't put in all those extra hours studying, my head would be spinning out here in practice and I'd be really confused.

"I'm definitely glad I put in all that time studying."

Osweiler was the first verbal commit of the 2009 recruiting class, and chose the Sun Devils after originally pledging to play basketball for Gonzaga. The quarterback was named player 2008 of the year in Montana playing for Flathead high school. He completed 189-of-303 passes (62.4 pct.) for 2,703 yards with 29 touchdowns as a senior.

"The biggest improvement I've seen in my game is understanding the plays," he noted, "understanding the checkdowns, knowing where the running backs and tight ends are. As long as I put the ball in our playmakers' hands it will make us look good."

In the scrimmage, the freshman witnessed the power of having one those aforementioned playmakers recording a big play. A 15-20 yard pass to backup tight end Stanley Malamala turned into a 39-yard gain thanks to the senior's ability to drag would-be tacklers down the field for additional 20 or so yards.

"That's was huge," Osweiler said. "Stanley made a big play lowering his shoulder and getting a lot of extra yards. After working out with the receivers (in the off-season) I know who are the go-to targets at certain times. That's part of coming in early and getting familiar with the receivers."

Osweiler's performance on the field is also due to his easy adjustment to life off the field. "It's been so much more than you can ever expect it to be," he commented. "When I committed and signed with ASU I never knew what to expect but I'm loving every minute here. It's been great."

The quarterback, conducting our interview with temperature in high 70's, didn't know the exact temperature back home in Kalispell that day other than to say that "it's probably cold and snowy…"

While he waits to see where he will be slotted on the official team's depth chart he does feel good about he has accomplished so far.

"I've learned so much from last Tuesday until now," Osweiler acknowledged, "so I'm just taking it day by day and seeing where things go. I expected to be behind Danny (Sullivan) and Samson (Szakacsy). They are two great quarterbacks and I'm kind of taking a back seat to them and learning a lot from them.

"By the end of spring I want to feel totally comfortable and moving the ball down the field, know my routes, know my check downs, and know my audibles so when I come into fall camp I'll be really ready to run the offense."


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