Offensively, the Sun Devils have struggled in the past few seasons. This year, the team vows to be different with the help of the new offensive coordinator, Noel Mazzone. With the first day of practice under their belts, Coach Erickson already has his eye on a few standout players, such as Jamal Miles.
"Everything that he does probably jumped out at me more than anything offensively," Erickson commented. "We're playing him I call him a hybrid, which means he's going to play running back and receiver and do a lot of different things. I thought he jumped out pretty good.
"George (Bell) can really make a difference," said Erickson. "He's got great speed. number one. He's got a lot to learn, like any junior college player he's got a lot to learn and he'll learn in the next fourteen practices. He has a lot of physical talent that will really help us."
Similar to last season, the maroon and gold begin their spring practice with an underdetermined signal caller. The quarterback position remains up for grabs between junior, Steven Threet and sophomore Brock Osweiler.
"We're just going to let them both go," Erickson remarked. "We flipped a coin this afternoon to see who was going to be with the 1's and then we'll switch it tomorrow. That's just kind of how we're doing it until some one emerges. I just want to see them both get better then we'll go from there.
"There are a lot of things they did well because it's new. We need to get a lot more accurate and make better decisions but just seeing that stuff for the first time, I'm real happy. We'll continue to get better and better at it all the time. The key to anything you do is accuracy and completing things that are completable."
Threet, a transfer from Michigan, played last season on the scout team while Osweiler found himself in the midst of last seasons quarterback shuffle. Throughout the next few weeks of practice, Erickson hopes the answer will be clear as to which player will lead the team.
"Steven and myself have been pushing each other since January 1st when we got back," Osweiler said. "We've got great competition so its' going to be a huge competition but you know that goes with every offensive position. There's so much talent on this team, nobody's job is safe but for a football team that's what you want. I feel like competition will bring out the best in everybody and in the end, it'll put the best team on the field."
Spending the last year on the sidelines, an eager Threet took the field today to attempt to secure a starting position for the Sun Devils. In evaluation of his own performance, Threet is confident he will continue to improve as spring practice goes on.
"Well he's been a lot of different places, sat out a lot of years so I know he's excited," Erickson noted. "He's been excited for this since he got here, he's been waiting a long time for this but on the other hand, so has Brock. It's going to be a great competition between those two."
"It was alright," Threet said. "It was the first time getting back on the field. I definitely made some mistakes but I'm trying to learn from them, not focus on them and not make them again tomorrow."