ASU football preparing two quarterbacks for Colorado

The Sun Devils have two true freshmen competing to start Saturday

It's been said the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. That statement also rings true for Sun Devils, apparently.

Heading into the season, the ASU football team had three quarterbacks competing for the starting job against Northern Arizona.

Once redshirt freshman Bryce Perkins went down there were two. Then, redshirt sophomore Manny Wilkins suffered an injury against USC. Now, redshirt freshman Brady White has been lost for the season.

So, instead of three quarterbacks all with at least one year in the system, the Sun Devils look to two who arrived in the summer.

Freshmen Dillon Sterling-Cole and Jack Smith are now QBs one and two for ASU for the time being, barring a quick and unlikely recovery over the next few days from Wilkins. The pair worked with the first and second teams respectively on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sterling-Cole, a three-star prospect from Houston, was forced into action against UCLA once White left the game, and immediately made a near-costly mistake, as the first pass of his career was intercepted in the end zone.

"We probably put him in a bad position there when he first came in," offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey said. "We wanted to score a touchdown to try to get some breathing room."

Wednesday, junior running back Demario Richard was deferential towards his new signal caller.

"That's not in my pay grade," Richard said. "He's there. He's our quarterback. We've got confidence in him."

But Lindsey has seen Sterling-Cole's ability in recruiting and in practice. He feels comfortable with Sterling-Cole heading the offense against the Buffaloes.

"He has a really strong arm and a lot of raw talent," Lindsey said. "Obviously he lacks experience. Being the third guy throughout most of the season, he probably hasn't gotten as many reps as you'd like, but we're trying to make up for that this week."

Smith, the son of ASU baseball head coach Tracy Smith, was a late addition to the 2016 recruiting class, and is listed as a wide receiver on the roster, but has also practiced at safety.

With three players out, Smith has been called on to move back to his position at Mountain Pointe High School a year ago and quite possibly lead ASU. While he's still the backup, Lindsey said all options are being evaluated.

"He and Dillon both are competing this week and getting reps," Lindsey said. "We're just trying to figure out what gives us the best chance to win on Saturday."


Reach the reporter at mtonis@asu.edu or follow @Tonis_The_Tiger on Twitter.

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