The Arizona State Sun Devils have now reached their first fall camp scrimmage. Dennis Erickson and the Sun Devils have looked impressive in some areas, and the story lines have changed at other position battles.
The quarterback battle has been much of the talk so far. Other story lines include, the offensive line struggles of the past and growth thus far, the defensive pass rush that seems unstoppable in practice, and a new attitude in the running game for Erickson and the Sun Devils.
With 11 practices under their belts, here is an inside look into the Arizona State fall progression by bleacherreport.com
Much of the talk around the Sun Devils camp the past four years has revolved around former ASU star quarterback, Rudy Carpenter.
Although, Carpenter is gone, much of the press around the country and locally has revolved around the quarterback battle at Arizona State.
Danny Sullivan has taken the first team snaps, and has looked pretty impressive.
Sullivan's knowledge of the system is evident. His throws are timely, accurate, and have lots of heat behind his passes.
Danny Sullivan has also emerged as the Sun Devils' leader on offense. He takes charge in the huddle, and has the poise and brain to change the play at the line to put ASU in favorable situations.
Behind the Senior quarterback remains two solid quarterbacks in their own right.
Samson Szakacsy has shown off his ability to run the spread offense formations and especially the quarterback read option plays that Erickson and Offensive Coordinator Rich Olson have implemented this fall.
In one instance, Szakacsy even fooled, coaches, players (on both sides of the ball), and the video crew filming the play.
Oh and Szakacsy's arm is 100 percent this fall following his recovery from surgery last fall.
Head Coach Dennis Erickson has not ruled out using two quarterbacks to run his spread offense this fall, to give ASU the best opportunity to win games.
The ideal situation, however, would be to redshirt "super prep" QB Brock Osweiler who has also shown glimpses of promise for the future.
If Danny Sullivan continues to progress and exude his leadership responsibilities, the quarterback position for Arizona State will not be in question.
Through the first eleven practices for the Sun Devils, Dennis Erickson and offensive line coach Gregg Smith have tried to find the right formula for success up front.
When fall camp opened up the offensive line looked like this.
(from left to right) Shawn Lauvao, John Hargis, Garth Gerhart, Mike Marcisz, and Tom Njunge.
Following Friday's practice, and during the morning session, ASU's offensive line sported a patchwork offensive line similar to last season: Lauvao, Hargis, Thomas Altieri, Gerhart, Matt Hustad.
Erickson and the Sun Devils have been rock solid on the left side. Although the story is not as pretty on the right side for ASU.
Zack Schlink, who has been penciled in to start at right guard, has been slowed by a nagging knee injury, following his off-season surgery.
Although when he has practiced, Schlink has looked impressive, but his obstacle seems to be remaining healthy.
Schlink's back-up, Mike Marcisz has had an up-and-down fall camp before being sidelined as well.
With lack of depth at the guard position, Erickson and Smith chose to move last years starting center Thomas Altieri back to the No. 1 center, and move Garth Gerhart to right guard.
Gerhart has not been as affective at guard as his natural position at center however. This move might just be to give Gerhart experience at guard, in case of injury during the regular season to the Sun Devil guards.
At right tackle Tom Njunge has been up and down and has not shown much consistency. These average performances has opened up an opportunity for the often injured Matt Hustad to get a chance to shine.
Hustad has looked good in pass protection but has struggled at times in the running game.
Many around the program have felt, that Hustad might be moved inside to guard to allow Gerhart to move back to his natural position at center.
This story is in the early stages, check back following the Georgia trip to gain more juicy details.
There is no doubt that Arizona State's strength this upcoming season will be the defense. Not only has the defensive line been out of this world, but the secondary has been equally impressive.
Dexter Davis and Lawrence Guy have been unstoppable in fall camp to date, however, some of the young guys have been making a name for themselves as well.
Freshman defensive tackle, Will Sutton, has been fighting through blocks sacking the quarterback and stuffing the run nearly every time he takes a snap.
Fellow freshman Corey Adams has had a very stellar camp as well. Both of these big boys up front will help ease the pain and increase the quality of depth due to the injuries of Tank English and Otis Jones.
The other defensive end spot is up for grabs so far. The battle is between Jamaar Jarrett, Dean DeLeonne, and Jamar Robinson.
All of them have been playing above their potential, making defensive line coach Grady Stretz rotate players like it is going out of style.
There is no question that the defensive line of the Sun Devils could be the best in the Pacific Ten this upcoming season. The talent is there, both with speed on the edge and strength to stop the run, up the middle.
Omar Bolden, Terrell Carr, Pierre Singfield, and Le'Quan Lewis have been lockdown corners in individual drills, team drills, and scrimmage situations.
Although quarterback Danny Sullivan has looked impressive, these defensive backs have managed to steal a couple passes from time to time.
However, the interceptions have not been the only good thing coming from this secondary. The run support from the safeties has been tremendous.
Ryan McFoy and Clint Floyd have been taking the majority of the first team repetitions, although Jarrell Holman and freshman Keelan Johnson have turned some heads with their improvement and increased quality of play following spring ball.
On the defensive side of the ball, it is going to be tough to find openings against the Sun Devils.
For opposing teams, the quarterback is going to have to release the ball in a hurry and try to fit passes into tight spaces with the speedy secondary and athletic linebackers.
In the past the final day of "true fall camp" concluded with a scrimmage, and then a bus ride from Payson, Ariz., to the Sun Devils Tempe campus.
However, with the new indoor practice facility, back in full force, the Sun Devils stayed on campus for their fall camp instead of taking their show up to the mountains at historical Camp Tontozona.
This first scrimmage of fall camp might not prove anything, but their will be some questions answered.
Such as: How is the chemistry between Danny Sullivan and his playmakers at wide receiver?
Which tight end will emerge and solidify himself as the starter, Senior Jovan Williams or Sophomore Dan Knapp? Right now it looks to be Knapp's job to lose.
Other questions swirling around the ASU campus are: Can the offensive line find the right pieces to fit the puzzle that Erickson is putting together to be successful and challenge the top tier teams in the conference? How will the hard hitting, aggressive practices take affect on the players as the summer rolls on?
Although it is only this first week of practice and the team has yet to scrimmage in Sun Devil Stadium, it is never too early to preview how the season may shape up, and what better place to check out your local favorites, than bleacherreport.com ?