Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/12/13
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Undoubtedly, position battles during spring practice should be taken with a grain of salt. New recruits have yet to arrive. Some players are still healing from injuries. Others will make significant strides over the summer in the weight room and elsewhere. Still, spring practice provides a good, long look at where certain players are and how they might contribute in the coming year. For Arizona State, a handful of position battles have developed and played out this spring. Though those contests will continue into fall camp, the results so far will be on display Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium during the annual spring game. Now that we've provided a disclaimer about spring competitions, here is a look at where the key battles stand as of now. WIDE RECEIVER Status: Dire. Receiver is by far the position of greatest concern right now, and coach Todd Graham hasn't been shy about acknowledging that. He's practically drooling at the prospect of what the receivers in ASU's recruiting class can add when they arrive in the fall. Key players: Kevin Ozier, Richard Smith, Alonzo Agwuenu, Gary Chambers. Outlook: ASU's spring depth chart listed Ozier, Smith and Chambers as the No. 1 receivers. Smith and Ozier were not surprises, as both contributed last season. Chambers is a bit of a surprise, though his ascension might also have to do with Agwuenu's inconsistent spring. The reality is Smith and Ozier will contribute in 2013, perhaps Smith more than Ozier, who is more of a possession receiver. Ultimately, the rotation won't truly be decided until the likes of freshmen Jaelen Strong and Joseph Morris are in the mix come fall. OFFENSIVE LINE Status: Solid. Two spots opened up on ASU's offensive line with the graduation of right guard Andrew Sampson and right tackle Brice Schwab. ASU has thus far had an easy time filling those spots, and offensive line looks to be a position of depth in 2013. Key players: Vi Teofilo, Jamil Douglas, Evan Goodman, Sil Ajawara, Tyler Sulka. Outlook: The offensive line looks pretty set right now, especially considering only one offensive lineman arrives in the fall (and freshmen O-linemen typically don't contribute much anyway while adding strength). Douglas appears to be the right tackle for next season, replacing Schwab after moving over from starting left guard last season. Coaches love Douglas's athleticism and believe he could have a big year at tackle. Teofilo has taken over at right guard after filling in as a starter last year while Sampson was injured. Ajawara has come on strong this spring to take Douglas's place at left guard. Goodman has not challenged as he was expected to after suffering an ankle injury, and Sulka right now is considered a depth piece, though he could have a shot at right tackle in the fall. FIELD SAFETY Status: Somewhat settled. Graham said this spring that this spot is among those he's worried about the most after losing Keelan Johnson to graduation. The Sun Devils have actually gotten decent competition at the spot, though, and should see more in the fall. Key players: Villami Moeakiola, Ezekiel Bishop Outlook: This battle might heat up in the fall, but for now, Moeakiola looks like the top guy. He missed a few practices recently due to a death in the family but has mostly impressed. He will be a redshirt freshman this year after getting a medical redshirt for last season, a year in which he had four tackles and an interception before suffering a hamstring injury that lingered all year. FIELD CORNERBACK Status: Solid but unsettled. Deveron Carr's graduation left a hole in the secondary, but it looks like ASU has the depth to fill it without too much of a drop-off. Key players: Robert Nelson, Rashad Wadood, Llloyd Carrington. Outlook: This battle is still too close to call. Nelson got top billing on the spring depth chart, but Graham said this week that Carrington and Wadood remain in the hunt for the starting job. Nelson came on strong over the final few games last season -- recall his 66-yard interception return against Arizona -- and is probably still the favorite, but Wadood, who missed last season with a shoulder injury, has impressed in practice lately. Carrington, a transfer from Pitt, has also looked good recently and practiced with the first-team defense Thursday. WILL LINEBACKER Status: Solid but incomplete. The competition to replace Brandon Magee has not truly developed yet due to injuries and recruits yet to arrive, so expect the battle to begin in earnest during fall camp. Key players: Grandville Taylor, Chris Young, Carlos Mendoza (injured). Outlook: Taylor and Young shared the top spot on the spring depth chart here even though Young is typically a spur linebacker. ASU has been experimenting with Young here, getting him on the field at the same time as fellow spur Anthony Jones. Taylor, a walk-on who earned a scholarship last season, has been solid this spring but hasn't really turned heads. Mendoza might end up winning this job once he's fully healed from the shoulder injury that cost him most of last season, but the competition will get tougher in the spring when junior-college recruit Antonio Longino arrives. OTHERS Quarterback: Taylor Kelly is the starter; that much we know. But the No. 2 spot isn't totally clear. Mike Bercovici has earned coaches' praise this spring and has apparently gotten in better physical shape to fit ASU's system, but the staff is still very high on Michael Eubank, the backup last year. Considering that the Devils used two quarterbacks for different packages last year, a battle for the backup job could be interesting, though it seems unlikely they would stop using Eubank in certain short-yardage situations, as they did last season. Placekicker: Walk-on Jon Mora remains the field-goal kicker, with Alex Garoutte handling kickoff and point-after duties. That's an unusual split, but it might be irrelevant when recently signed recruit Zane Gonzalez arrives in the fall.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Russell Westbrook gets emotional thanking family in MVP speech

Malcolm Brogdon makes history by beating out Saric, Embiid for Rookie of the Year

Bill Russell delivers epic line after winning NBA lifetime achievement award

Draymond Green ensemble at NBA Awards must be seen to believe

Victor Oladipo gets schooled by young boy at basketball camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall trying to recruit Paul George to join Wizards

Report: Saints looking at ways to recoup guaranteed money owed to Nick Fairley

Martellus Bennett thinks Rodgers is better than Brady?

Fairley expected to miss 2017 season due to heart condition

Cousins could get more than $30 million per year in free agency?

Charlie Sheen puts Babe Ruth trade contract, World Series ring up for auction

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker