ASU looking for Carpenter's successor - East Valley Tribune: Sports

ASU looking for Carpenter's successor

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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 9:05 pm | Updated: 2:00 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Rudy Carpenter's successor was among the five quarterbacks who alternated snaps Tuesday night.

The hard part is figuring which one it will be.                                                                           

Sizing up the Pac-10 entering spring football

Rudy Carpenter's successor was among the five quarterbacks who alternated snaps Tuesday night.

The hard part is figuring which one it will be.

The Arizona State football team practiced for the first time this spring, with the biggest question mark surrounding the unproven signal callers.

Sizing up the Pac-10 entering spring football

Senior-to-be Danny Sullivan begins as the No. 1 quarterback, but coach Dennis Erickson likely won't name a starter until the end of spring practice.

Samson Szakacsy and true freshman Brock Osweiler are expected to compete for the job. Jack Elway and Chasen Stangel are the other scholarship quarterbacks.

"They all had their moments, but it's going to take awhile to decide what's going on," Erickson said.

All three contenders have their strengths.

Sullivan has been in the program for four years and has a cannon arm.

Szakacsy has the most speed and elusiveness.

Osweiler is 6-foot-8 and mobile for his height.

Erickson said the team was focused on implementing offensive formations, putting the competition on the backburner for the time being.

Sullivan took the snaps with the first team, something he's been looking forward to for a long time. He was Rudy Carpenter's backup for the last three years.

The offseason was "awesome," Sullivan said. "I loved it. I loved working hard and being with the guys all the time ... because if I'm the starter, these are the guys I've got to go with."

Szakacsy said he feels 100 times better than last season, when he battled elbow problems.

"It was so discouraging last year not being at full strength," he said. "It's like being trapped inside of a box. You want to make a throw, and your mind's telling you you're going to make the throw, but the arm's not there for you. My arm's stronger and coming back, so it's exciting. Now we have to put the mental part with the physical part and get rolling."

Erickson noticed the difference.

"That's the best I've seen him throw since I've been here," Erickson said. "A lot better. That's probably the real encouraging thing, how he threw it today."

None of the quarterbacks stood out during the practice. The defense held the advantage on the first day, intercepting several passes from various signal callers.

EXTRA POINTS: Early indications suggest Arizona State will use more spread formations this season, utilizing shorter routes. Szakacsy would likely benefit the most from those packages ... Unlike last year, the defensive ends were switching sides depending on the offensive formation ... Dimitri Nance, Shaun DeWitty, Ryan Bass and James Morrison are the top four running backs ... Several in-state high school recruits that signed with the Sun Devils watched practice from the sidelines.

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