It's easy to see who the leader of the pack is of the Arkansas State Red Wolves
Especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin demands respect from his team, it's easy to see whose team it is out on the field.
"The players really respond to him," said Head Coach Gus Malzahn. "He is a true leader, he relates to the players, he is great with the coaching staff. He is definitely a player's type player."
If you don't believe QB 1 is passionate about his job as the starting quarterback for ASU go back and watch the post game videos of the Go Daddy.com Bowl's loss to Northern Illinois.
Aplin looked liked he had been through a 19 round boxing match. Instead of making excuses of what went wrong (the team's first loss in 10 straight games) the tears in his eyes spoke volumes. He took the blame for not bringing his team back, he didn't mentioned that he had lost three out of his four starting wide receivers during the game.
"Ryan always puts everything on his shoulders," one former coach remembers. "He always blames himself. He never lays blame on anyone else even when it isn't his fault."
Aplin is going through his third new head coach in the last four years in Jonesboro, but when asked about learning a new offense, he just smiles and talks about how easy it is.
"It's going great," Aplin said after a spring practice. "This is going to be a great offense for us. It's exciting to have Gus Malzahn as our head football coach."
While Arkansas State may not return as many players as they did last fall, they are definitely returning several key weapons.
None more important than the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year Ryan Aplin.
"Things really slow down to him," Malzahn said. "He is a true leader in every sense of the word. I'm really glad he's on my team."
Several of his teammates feel the same way.
"Our senior leadership is very strong, especially with Ryan leading the way," senior defensive end Tim Starson said. "We know when the offense has to score that Ryan will get the job done. He did it in the Western Kentucky game, he is a great teammate and a great friend."
There is no doubt that he is leader of the pack, but one thing that some might not know or realize about him is his sense of humor.
"Oh he will talk some smack to you," Starson said laughing. "I gave him a hard time when I sacked him a couple of times in the spring game. He knows I was coming after him."
The chemistry between Aplin and his team is evident to those that spend any time around the team.
"He is a great leader," senior linebacker Nathan Herrold said. "We all give each other a hard time sometimes, but we all know that we all have each others back. We are all very close friends, we care about each other. The offense is in great hands with Ryan leading it."