ASU Football: Trouble Looming For The Sun Devils Defense In 2011?

Kristian SiutaCorrespondent IIDecember 25, 2010

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 26:  Center Ryan Taylor #66 of the UCLA Bruins prepares to snap the ball during the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Lawrence Guy's Christmas might be a very merry one, but for Arizona State fans, a perfect Christmas wish would be granted if Guy, a 3-year starting defensive tackle, decides to return for his senior season in Tempe. 

There are plenty of pros and cons to Guy's decision for the program as a whole, and the future of the Las Vegas native's family. When the 6'5", 300-pound Guy announced that he would wear the maroon and gold, many were in complete shock. 

Guy was a versatile and powerful defensive linemen from Nevada powerhouse, Western High School. Every school in the country, including Oklahoma, Nebraska and Michigan, were all knocking on his door. Instead, the massive Guy pledged to the Arizona State Sun Devils, and the rest as they say is history. 

As an interior linemen, accolades and recognition are extremely hard to come by, but Guy made an instant impact and never let up in the past three years as a Sun Devil. 

All-American honors were bestowed upon him since high school, and even this past season, Guy was named to countless postseason honors, and trophy semi-finalists. To be considered for the Outland Trophy, Lott Trophy and Nagurski Trophy, is quite an impressive feat. 

Guy was the shining star in Dennis Erickson's 2007 recruiting class, and was an integral part of the Sun Devils' pressure defense and tremendous turnaround under Craig Bray. 

The defensive unit is now a mainstay, and Guy, Brandon Magee, Shelly Lyons, and Jamaar Jarrett (all from the '07 recruiting class) have elevated ASU's defense to new heights. 

Although, the defense can only do so much, as fans realized the past few seasons. Now, the Sun Devils have all the right pieces to compete for a Pac-12 crown, both on offense, and especially on defense. 

With senior Sai'a Falahola graduating, and looking at late-round draft pick in the NFL, Lawrence Guy will have especially large shoes to fill in the middle of ASU's defense.  

However, as the NFL draft is looming, most predict Guy as a top-10 defensive tackle this Spring.

If Guy opts to turn pro a year early, the Sun Devil coaching staff will be left scrambling to find bodies to plug up the middle. Behind Guy and the aforementioned Falahola, Corey Adams and Bo Moos played extensively last season in the Sun Devils four-man rotation.

Also returning this Spring from academic probation, Will Sutton will add another big body up front, but none of the three have received the same praise as Guy or Falahola. 

No one will second guess Guy's decision either way, because there are tons of dollar signs on the table. Injuries and a production drop off could only hinder Guy's future draft stock if returning to Tempe is the end decision. 

In the coming weeks and months, the decision is only in one man's hands. Erickson and his staff have been blazing the recruiting trail this offseason, but the coaches will produce their best recruiting efforts in-house if Guy decides to stay. 

Guy has accomplished everything a defensive linemen could hope for in three seasons, except for winning a championship and participating in a major (Bowl Championship Series) game.

2011 might be that year to achieve the unthinkable in Tempe, but there is no way that Erickson and the Sun Devils will accomplish that goal without Lawrence Guy in the middle.