Graham eager to narrow field in QB derby

BY foxsports • July 24, 2012

LOS ANGELES – Arizona
State football coach Todd Graham said he expects to whittle his
quarterback race down to two players “quickly” once camp begins.



“The
longer it goes without naming a star, I don't like that,” Graham said
at Pac-12 Media Day. “As soon as we can do that, we need to do that,
because it settles everything down. You need a leader and a
quarterback.”



Mike Bercovici is thought to be leading the race
for the starting job but Graham has said repeatedly that he expects to
use a second quarterback in some situations. That would appear to be a
nod to redshirt freshman Michael Eubank, whose running abilities will
make the Sun Devils more versatile at the position.


RODRIGUEZ: PENN STATE PLAYERS HAVE CONTACTED ARIZONA

University of Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez
said Tuesday that his coaching staff has talked to some Penn State
players about the possibility of transferring after the school was hit
with severe NCAA sanctions following the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse
scandal.

Rodriguez made it clear that the players contacted Arizona first.

“We
know a couple of the guys,” Rodriguez said at Pac-12 Media Day at
Universal Studios’ Gibson Amphitheater. “I don’t know if any will come.
It’s an emotional situation for them. Everything is going to happen
quick, so the timing may not be good for anybody.”

Penn State players are allowed to transfer and retain immediate eligibility under NCAA rules.

ONYEALI EXPECTED BACK FOR CAMP

Graham
said suspended defensive end Junior Onyeali has not been re-instated
yet after he was suspended in January "for not meeting the high
standards of the Sun Devil football program."

“He's done
everything we asked him to do in his plan of improvement, and that's
something I'm proud of. In this situation, we gave him a very difficult
plan of improvement to go through, and he's done everything. He was a
3.0 (GPA) student this spring. Very impressed by that. He's got a few
more checks to make here this last part of the month, but I expect him
to report with our team on (August 2).”

RODRIGUEZ WEIGHS IN ON PENN STATE

Rodriguez
coached against Penn State while he was the head coach at Michigan from
2008 to 2010. Here’s his take on the NCAA's sanctions against the
school.

“You get hit with the scholarship reductions; you get hit
with the loss of the bowls and, obviously, the monetary fine. It's
going to be tough for that school to recover," Rodriguez said. "But
nothing is going to be nearly as tough as what those victims went
through.”
The NCAA imposed several sanctions in the wake of the Freeh
report, detailing the university's inaction in the face of the Jerry
Sandusky child sex abuse charges.

The NCAA fined Penn State $60
million, imposed a four-year bowl ban and cut scholarships from 85 to 65
for the 2014 through 2017 seasons. The impact on recruiting will be
felt for years to come and the effects have already started. On Monday,
elite cornerback recruit Ross Douglas decommitted and switched to
Michigan.

“As tough as the situation is for (Penn State), they'll
recover,” Rodriguez said. “It may take some time, but they have a great
coaching staff. (New coach) Bill O'Brien will do a tremendous job. They
have a terrific university, a great community. I have been there many
times. I was there as a player, as an assistant coach and there as a
head coach competing against them. They will be able to rally.

“Will
it take some years? Probably. But at the same time I think there are a
lot of lessons to be learned, and the lessons go beyond athletics. It's
more than an athletic issue, it's a societal issue. Hopefully, everybody
can learn from that and be better going forward.”

CAM DO

ASU running back Cameron Marshall pronounced himself 100 percent after missing much of spring ball following ankle surgery.
“Heading
into camp, this is the best I’ve felt in a whole year,” said Marshall,
who played through ankle and knee injuries all of last season.”

Marshall
headlines perhaps the deepest position on the Sun Devils roster. Behind
him, the Devils have Deantre Lewis, who is coming back from a shooting
incident, James Morrison, who earned Graham’s praise this spring for his
bruising running, junior college transfer Marion Grice and incoming
freshman D.J. Foster, the program’s top recruit, out of Scottsdale
Saguaro High.

MEDIA POLL

To no one's surprise, USC
and Oregon were picked in the preseason poll of media members to meet in
the 2012 Pac-12 Championship Game, with USC the overwhelming choice to
emerge as the winner.

The Trojans were picked to win the South
Division on 117 of 123 ballots, while Oregon had the same number of
first-place ballots in the North. USC got 102 of 123 votes to win the
title game, with 18 going to Oregon.

The remaining three?
Strangely enough, they went to Arizona State, which was picked to finish
fifth in the six-team South Division.


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