Let's be realistic here for a few seconds. Isn't that what we do best here at PFN?
Rudy Carpenter is gone. After 3 1/2 years of gutting out injuries and battling through adversity (real or imagined), his caree is over. And on September 5, 2009, when Arizona State takes on Idaho State in the season opener, we'll have someone other than RC as the starter under center for the first time since October 22, 2005.
From what we've all seen and heard, we still have no idea who the heir apparent to the job will be.
Who's to say that Brock Osweiler, who has verbally committed to Arizona State out of Kalispell, MT, isn't as much in the running for the starting job as anyone else currently on the roster?
Let's take a quick look at his competition:
Danny Sullivan: His only legitimate, if you can even call it that, game action came long after RC was yanked in the 2007 Holiday Bowl. He threw two garbage-time touchdown passes, but in other clean-up action, hasn't shown any propensity to be a big time college QB. He sails throws, looks panicky in the pocket even in non-pressure situations and has done little in two years to cement his status as even a clear #2.
Samson Szakacsy: He's certainly the most athletic moving with the ball but he hasn't proven that he can be reliable OR healthy. There are still lingering questions about his arm strength as well.
Chasen Stangel: Has shown me no progress as a football player. His football IQ is questionable at best and I have a feeling that his field vision struggles as well.
Jack Elway: Clearly the wild card in this race, as we haven't seen him enough even in full speed practice situations to make a judgement on whether #7's kid will ever be a strong enough QB to start or play here.
When you think about the players who are leaving with Rudy as well...Keegan Herring and Mike Jones being the ones that come immediately to mind...there's definitely a complete lack of impactful players at the skill positions who made significant contributions in 2008 that will suit up in Maroon and Gold in 2009.
Chris McGaha and Dimitri Nance will have next season to redeem themsevles after down seasons while T.J. Simpson, Gerrell Robinson, Shaun DeWitty and a few others will step in with limited experience and be next year's go-to guys.
So in my mind, if you're pretty much sticking inexperienced and/or underwhelming players into the starting lineup next season, the time seems right to start completely fresh and go with the guy under center that will mesh the best with these other youngsters.
And in my mind, that's why I think it's not so farfetched that Brock Osweiler should get a serious, hard look at being the starter for Arizona State next year.
If you've watched his film, he's clearly going to be the most accurate and strong-armed signal caller in camp next fall. The kid has terrific footwork for a high schooler and, since he worked out of the shotgun for most of his time in Kalispell, has the ability when needed to move around throughout the backfield. That's going to help him out behind what...you know...is a pretty horrendous offensive line.
He'll also be by FAR the biggest prospect for the starting job; he's got an entire four inches of height over Stangel, who at 6'4 is the tallest QB left on the roster. His measurements (6'8, 230) and prospectus (quintessential pocket passer) are remarkably similar to those of a certain ex-ASU quarterback who ended up as the Pac-10's all-time leader in touchdown passes.
(If you haven't caught on, that was the 6'6, 230-pound pocket passer named Andrew Walter)
Unless your concerned about stunting his growth; and in this situaton coming off a 5-7 season and a restless fan base, there seems to not much patience; there's no reason to not consider Osweiler a candidate for the starting job.
This all changes, obviously, if the whispers are true about Dennis Erickson's staff going to California earlier this month to scout two top JuCo quarterbacks.