After emerging as a star in 2012, one might think Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly would have little competition for the starting job under center in 2013, but that's not necessarily the case (via azcentral.com).
With Michael Eubank and Mark Bercovici champing at the bit to take over Kelly's starting role, the sophomore will have his work cut out for him in spring camp, and he's aware of that.
"I know entering next season I'm going to have to work even harder," Kelly said Wednesday.
Kelly left the Sun Devils' spring camp as the team's third string quarterback behind Eubank and Bercovici, but through hard work on improving his arm strength and command of the offense, won the starting job in fall camp. That hard work paid off this season, as Kelly threw for 2,772 yards and 25 touchdowns with nine interceptions in 12 games for the Sun Devils. He is also on pace to set a school record for completion percentage (65.9 percent) by quarterbacks with 300 or more passing attempts.
Eubanks, a freshman, presents the biggest threat to Kelly's starting job, as head coach Todd Graham likes the 6'6 signal caller's skill set, but figures he'll need more time to mature. That means the starting job is Kelly's, for now anyway.
"When a guy's started 13 games for you - and obviously we have to see how we finish this last one - I think he's earned something," Graham said. "It's not a three-man race. He's got to be beaten out."