Here are 10 Arizona State football players whose performance in 2017 will go a long way toward determining if the Sun Devils will have their first winning season since 2014.
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Jay Dieffenbach and Doug Haller discuss: Will it be newcomer Blake Barnett, or will Manny Wilkins hold on to the job? Video: azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jeff Metcalfe takes a look at some pressing issues for the Sun Devils heading into 2017.
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Jeff Metcalfe takes a closer look at some of the top issues surrounding the Sun Devils football team. Video: azcentral sports
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The college football season doesn’t start until the fall but it’s never too early to start looking ahead.
USA TODAY Sports
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Wide receivers, including John Humphrey and Ryan Newsome, were the headliners Saturday at the Arizona State football spring game.
Credit: Jeff Metcalfe, David Kadlubowski/Arizona Republic
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Offensive highlights from ASU’s spring game on Saturday.
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Hyperlapse of ASU’s spring football game.
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Here’s what you need to know before you head to ASU’s Spring Game and Fan Fest on Saturday.
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Arizona State head football coach Todd Graham talks about his team’s second spring scrimmage on Friday, April 7. Video: Jeff Metcafle/azcentral sports
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ASU football coach Todd Graham talks about Demario Richard, Christian Hill and more after spring practice on Wednesday, April 5.
Credit: Jeff Metcalfe, Nick Oza/Arizona Republic
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ASU defensive line coach Michael Slater gives instructions to his players at Monday’s workout in Tempe. Video: azcentral sports
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Coach Todd Graham says defense came out ahead by limiting big plays during ASU’s first spring scrimmage on Wednesday. Jeff Metcalfe/azcentral sports
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Arizona State football completed its sixth spring practice Friday at Sun Devil Stadium with nine practices remaining over the next three weeks. The spring game is April 15.
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ASU football coach Todd Graham discusses hiring Danny White and Dave Christensen as consultants. Jeff Metcalfe/azcentral sports
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Quarterback Blake Barnett, a transfer from Alabama, is in his first year at Arizona State. He is competing with four returners to be the starting QB.
Credit: Jeff Metcalfe, Rob Schumacher, Nick Oza, Thomas Hawthorne/Arizona Republic
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Arizona State head coach Todd Graham discusses the first day of football spring practice on March 14, 2017 at the Kajikawa Practice Facility in Tempe, Ariz. By Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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ASU football begins sixth season under coach Todd Graham with five new assistant coaches. (Jeff Metcalfe/azcentral sports)
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Transfer quarterback Blake Barnett talks about coming to ASU to compete for the starting job on Wednesday. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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Arizona State offensive coordinator Billy Napier discusses the first day of football spring practice on March 14, 2017 at the Kajikawa Practice Facility in Tempe, Ariz. By Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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ASU football coach Todd Graham talks about the challenge of hiring “good people” and losing them to other schools entering ASU’s 2017 season on Wednesday. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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Former Arizona State quarterback Bryce Perkins signed Wednesday with Arizona Western College, where he hopes to start and lead the Matadors back to the national junior college championship game.
Perkins, a redshirt sophomore, sat out last season at ASU after suffering fracture in his neck that nearly ended his football career. He was limited during spring practice because of the injury. Last month, he announced he was transferring because “this school is not the right fit for me and the goals I have set for myself.”
Arizona Western coach Tom Minnick said he knew that Perkins was considering a transfer before ASU spring practice. There is a connection to Perkins, who starred at Chandler High School, through Jim Ewan, who coached Perkins’ older brother Paul when he was at Chandler then later lived in Yuma, where Arizona Western in located.
“Our missing piece was quarterback,” Minnick said. “We have the No. 1 tight end, No. 1 running back and one of the top receivers. We need a leader to come in and take control of the guys coming back. Bryce is a big part of it.”
Arizona Western was 11-1 in 2016, losing 25-22 to Garden City Community College in the NJCAA title game.
Minnick said Perkins is cleared for contact and “feeling fine and anxious to get back.”
Perkins could play one season at Arizona Western then transfer back to an NCAA Division I school in December with two years of eligibility remaining.
“He gets to play,” Minnick said. “Why go sit? He needs to go play and prove himself again. He has the heart of a champion. I’m not worried about him. I’m happy. We’ve been searching to find a quarterback who can help us win, and we’ve always recruited Chandler.”
Perkins threw for more than 5,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,600 with 26 touchdowns in his prep career. In 2014, he led Chandler to its first state title since 1949 and was named Arizona Division I Player of the Year.
Minnick compared Perkins to Tanner McEvoy, Arizona Western’s quarterback in 2012 who went on to Wisconsin and now is a wide receiver with the Seattle Seahawks.
“He’s a dual threat guy who can wreck havoc on the defense,” Minnick said.
Even without Perkins, ASU has five scholarship quarterbacks – Manny Wilkins, Blake Barnett, Dillon Sterling-Cole, Brady White and Ryan Kelley. Wilkins and Barnett shared the No. 1 spot on the depth chart after spring practice. White is coming back from injury. Sterling-Cole and true freshman Kelley could redshirt.