Bercovici competing for backup QB spot at ASU football spring camp

There is a position battle brewing for the backup quarterback job at ASU’s spring football camp.

After redshirting last season, redshirt sophomore Mike Bercovici is back and ready to compete with the Sun Devils.

And he’s after redshirt sophomore Michael Eubank’s job.

While coach Todd Graham insists every position is up for grabs during spring practice, the No. 2 quarterback spot is one of the most tightly contested. Bercovici and Eubank shared equal reps with the second-string offense during practice Thursday.

“(Bercovici) has made some great throws,” Graham said. “He’s had a great spring. … Berc’s a guy that you better not rest your laurels on.”

Bercovici was Brock Osweiler’s backup in 2011. When Osweiler left for the NFL Draft, Bercovici competed for the open starting position for the 2012 season.

Graham named redshirt sophomore Taylor Kelly as the starter, with Eubank backing him up before the season started, prompting Bercovici to use his redshirt year.

Eubank began the 2012 season splitting a set number of snaps with Kelly, but his production steadily declined throughout the year.

Pressure on WRs

The Sun Devils return 16 projected starters for the 2013 season.

Of the six that departed however, two were ASU’s starting wide receivers.

The Sun Devils lost Rashad Ross and Jamal Miles due to graduation, and Graham knows the receiver position is where ASU must improve the most offensively.

Redshirt senior Kevin Ozier was a consistant target for Kelly last season, racking up 324 receiving yards on 21 catches and five receiving touchdowns.

Ozier said he is ready to capitalize next season.

“I’m just looking to produce and make the best out of every opportunity,” Ozier said. “I know I have to be crisp with my assignments and route running and just make plays on offense.”

Making up the rest of the receiving corps will be redshirt senior Alonzo Agwuenu, sophomore Richard Smith. Redshirt sophomore Gary Chambers and redshirt freshman walk-on Frederick Gammage have also gotten some reps in spring camp.

Ozier, also a former walk-on, said he’s been impressed with Gammage. Gammage has improved throughout spring practice and broke into the open field for a touchdown during Thursday’s scrimmage.

“He’s been making a name for himself as a walk on, making some plays that if he continues to keep it up out there, he’ll see the field this time,” Ozier said.

Graham signs Texas placekicker

ASU received a national letter of intent from placekicker Zane Gonzalez from Deer Park High in Texas, the team announced Thursday.

“We have a lot of confidence in the guys here, but we have an opportunity to get a guy who’s probably one of the most accurate guys we’ve seen on film,” Graham said. “We did a lot of research and feel good about it.”

According to his ASU Athletics bio page, Gonzalez was a perfect 10-for-10 on field goals and converted all of his extra points in his senior season. He is the No. 11 placekicking recruit in the nation according to KohlsKicking.com

Graham noted that ASU was one of the highest scoring teams in the nation last season. He believes it makes ASU an attractive destination for kickers, since it gives them more opportunities for PAT and field goal attempts.

Gonzalez joins the team in a three-man competition for the starting placekicker spot with redshirt juniors Alex Garoutte and Jon Mora. Garoutte and Mora switched time at the position in several instances last season.

Reach the reporter at jnacion@asu.edu