“Leadership” is a term that has been tossed around very loosely this offseason in Tempe, Ariz. Coming off a roller-coaster ride of near misses, fumbled opportunities and late-game meltdowns resulting in a 6-6 record, leadership and direction is an area of need.
Naturally, the centerpiece on offense carries the weight of a starving football community. The Sun Devils fan base is thirsty for a winner. After all, it has been a few years since ASU has had a winner.
Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback Rudy Carpenter was the closest signal caller to a true winner, but even maroon and gold fans never fully embraced the school leader in all-time completions.
The ASU community has, however, already embraced Brock Osweiler. Although he is nowhere near 43 consecutive starts or 800 completions, Osweiler is writing his own story in the pocket.
His name was chanted as a true freshman while then-starting quarterback Danny Sullivan struggled with elite defenses. Head coach Dennis Erickson echoed the thoughts that the Montana product was “not ready.”
Once Osweiler got his shot against USC, his performance spoke volumes. However, Osweiler was still an inexperienced freshman.
With inexperience on the gridiron, Osweiler also dabbled with the thought of lacing up the high tops and playing basketball at ASU.
The decision was ultimately made for him as Steven Threet suffered a career-ending concussion against UCLA.
The bandwagon began to form for Osweiler and everyone in the valley was trying out for the lead guitarist role. However, more than a handful withheld judgment until Osweiler passed the test against in-state rival Arizona.
A leader, and a rising star, was born in Tucson.
Still inexperienced, Osweiler played like a poised veteran as the clock ticked down into overtime. Whether by ground or by air, Osweiler had the answers.
Now Osweiler has been celebrated for his leadership. Through his production and motivation, he has earned the title of team captain.
He is the frontman this Sun Devils band needed.
This team has witnessed countless misfortunes in heartbreaking fashion and Osweiler has been present for much, if not all of them.
Since he picked up a football, Osweiler wanted to be a starting quarterback at a major Division I football program. His childhood dream is unfolding as he is writing each page with each snap.
The first chapter of his junior season will unfold against UC Davis.
From the first coin toss at Sun Devil Stadium, Osweiler will walk across the 50-yard line flanked by seniors Garth Gerhart and Colin Parker. The decision of heads or tails will be the easiest of the season.
After all, Osweiler is a natural born leader. Once the first snap is taken, all his decisions will be second nature. He has already made the passes and scored the touchdowns.
He is the voice of ASU’s rebuilding process. But will Osweiler be the voice of championship celebration?