Manny Wilkins’ maturity and film study fuel his hot start to the 2017 season.
By Harley Yearout // Football Reporter for Blaze Sports
The main talking point of the Arizona State football team coming into the season was the starting quarterback.
When 5-star recruit and Alabama transfer Blake Barnett announced he was coming to ASU, it seemed like a lock that he would get the starting job.
But head coach Todd Graham stuck with the redshirt junior Manny Wilkins, the returning starter from last year.
And so far, Wilkins has delivered, throwing for 924 yards, 7 touchdowns and no interceptions three weeks into the season.
“I think he’s growing and progressing as a quarterback and I think he’s just scratching the surface of how good he can be,” Graham said.
Wilkins thanked his confidence for the efficient start he has had this season.
“I’m just more confident in my play, more confident in my arm, more confident sitting in the pocket delivering,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins said that a big step in his maturity has come fromstudying film of top NFL quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Matt Ryan.
“It’s helped out a lot and I think that I’m seeing the game a lot differently now,” Wilkins said.
This week Wilkins and ASU face a tough task as they take on the Oregon Ducks, who slid into the top 25 for the first time this season, coming in a No. 24.
Wilkins missed last year’s 54-35 loss to Oregon due to injury.
“They’ll have a different quarterback that they’re facing this year,” Wilkins said.
And as has been the theme this season, Wilkins remains confident headed into the start of Pac-12 play.
“When adversity strikes, when your back is against the wall, true champions come out in my eyes,” Wilkins said.
Oregon plays ASU Saturday and kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Harley Yearout is a reporter for Blaze Sports. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Harley on Twitter @HarleyYearout