Tempe, AZ – At the end of the 2011 Football season, Arizona State QB Brock Osweiller announced his decision to enter the NFL Draft.
When Coach Todd Graham arrived at ASU on December 14, 2011, it was only three weeks later on January 5, 2012 that Brock made his announcement and two weeks after the Sun Devils’ 56-24 loss to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Fans were surprised, even critical, of Osweiller’s decision. After all he had just put up 4,036 yards, the first Sun Devil quarterback ever to surpass 4,000 yards in a single season, and he still had his senior year to boost his prospects in the NFL. At the same time, fans understood that it would be tough for Brock to put up better numbers under a new system his senior season, so his “stock” may be have been the highest at that time.
Part of Brock’s reason for leaving ASU after his Junior year was that Dennis Erickson and his staff were fired from the program. It’s also worth noting that Brock’s top two receiving targets in 2011, Gerell Robinson and Aaron Pflugrad, were finishing their senior seasons.
Brock had developed a strong relationship with Erickson’s Offensive Coordinator, Noel Mazzone, who now holds the same position at UCLA. It was also Mazzone that managed Brock’s preparation for the NFL draft.
Just 4 months after his announcement that he was leaving ASU, Osweiller became the NFL’s 57th pick of Round 2 in the draft. He picked up by John Elway and the Denver Broncos where he would learn under the great Peyton Manning.
There’s now no questioning whether Brock made a smart move.
with Taylor Kelly essentially only at the half-way mark of his ASU career, he will likely become one of the most revered quarterbacks in Sun Devil history.
How did the shake-up affect Sun Devil Football?
Let’s just say that ASU’s new signal-caller, Taylor Kelly, would soon capture the attention of Sun Devil Nation who otherwise might have dwelled on Osweiller’s early departure from the program.
Brock & Taylor are both fantastic leaders. While Brock was more vocal and comfortable in front of the media, an important aspect of the job, Taylor has been much more the “speak very softly but carry a big stick” type of team leader.
But how do the two quarterbacks compare in terms of their production and effectiveness on game-days.We’ll let the numbers do the talking.
Taylor Kelly is an all-star quarterback who, if he remains healthy, will surpass many Sun Devil records in due time, including Brock’s staggering 4,036 passing yards in 2011. After 7 games, Kelly has thrown for 1,965 yards. With an expected Bowl bid, ASU has 6 more games. If the Devils take the Pac-12 South, it will be 7 games with the Conference Championship.
Taylor represents the Sun Devil Football program with class and humility, and we’ve watched him grow and mature over the last season and a half. Off the field, he’s an ASU Scholar Baller. And Taylor goes above and beyond the expectations of serving others, a focal point of Todd Graham’s program. As one of the busiest, hardest working players on his team, Taylor has also found time to reach out and get involved with ASU’s surrounding communities.
Brock & Taylor will both go down as Sun Devil fan favorites. But with Taylor Kelly essentially only at the half-way mark of his Sun Devil career, he will likely become one of the most revered quarterbacks in Arizona State’s Football history.
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