The quarterback competition at ASU has garnered the majority of the attention during spring practices, but once a starter is named, he will need someone to catch the ball.
Gerell Robinson, Aaron Pflugrad and Mike Willie, the three leading receivers from a season ago, are no longer with the program. Although there is not a lot of returning depth at the position, offensive coordinator Mike Norvell has been pleased with the group thus far.
“Rashad Ross has had a good couple days,” Norvell said. “Jamal Miles (has performed well), Gary Chambers has stepped in and really shined at times … We’ve got some young guys that are really pushing to earn a spot and solidify themselves as part of the receiving core.”
Ross, a transfer from Butte College in northern California, has also seen players step up and strongly believes the receivers will be ready to fill the void by the time the season rolls around.
“I don’t look at it like we lost receivers, because other teams lost corners,” Ross said. “Everybody lost somebody, and I feel like we are playing with our class now. Last year wasn’t our class. It was the seniors’ class and they’re gone now. (I’ve) got confidence in all of the receivers. I feel like we’re going to step up and we’re going to shine.”
Tuesday practice notes
– Senior running back Cameron Marshall arrived at practice on crutches with his ankle wrapped. Marshall, who had a nagging injury for the entire 2011 season, had surgery just before spring break and is expected to miss three to four weeks.
Although he is likely to miss the remainder of the spring practices, coach Todd Graham envisions a big 2012 season for Marshall.
“He is going to be a great back in our system with the downhill runs that we have,” Graham said.
– Junior defensive end Davon Coleman, who was previously suspended for failing to meet team standards, was present and participating Tuesday.
– Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Joita Te’i was not practicing and has failed to meet the team’s expected standards.
“Our standards are extremely high, and the reward is to compete and play,” Graham said.
– Sophomore quarterback Mike Bercovici was holding for field goal and point-after-touchdown attempts, a task senior punter Josh Hubner handled in 2011 and throughout the first week of spring practice.
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