At last in the here and now, Arizona State has a starting quarterback. Whether it’ll be the same starter as next month or even next week remains to be seen.
Ahead of Saturday night’s opener against Northern Arizona, ASU announced that Manny Wilkins will be the starter against the FCS program. Wilkins began summer camp engaged in a three-way competition for the job with sophomore Bryce Perkins and freshman Brady White; a neck injury suffered by Perkins whittled the list of contenders to two early on in camp.
“We’re going to run Manny out there with the first group, he’s earned that,” head coach Todd Graham said. “But we’ve got great confidence in Brady as well. Manny’s our guy to run out with the first group and we’ll go from there.
“We’ve got great confidence in both those guys, and, if Bryce was able to play, we felt that there was a very unique skill set with him.”
— Sun Devil Athletics (@TheSunDevils) September 2, 2016
According to Graham, he had “known for weeks” that Wilkins would be under center for the first game. Graham also added during his radio interview that the competition isn’t over and will extend on into the season.
Wilkins served as Mike Bercovici‘s backup in 2015. The redshirt sophomore ran for 55 yards on seven carries but didn’t attempt a pass. In fact, the Sun Devils are one of two FBS teams who have entered or will enter the 2016 season without a quarterback on the roster who has attempted a pass at this level.
Also on the roster at the position is true freshman Dillon Sterling-Cole, a four-star 2016 recruit who Graham describes as “something special” and someone who they’re “excited about the future with him.”