Arizona State is one of eight Pac-12 teams that will have a new starting quarterback this fall, but Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic provides grounds for Sun Devils fans to be optimistic that new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey will get positive results behind center.
For one, Lindsey has developed a reputation as a pretty darn good play-caller, see what he did last year for Southern Miss' highly-productive, balanced offense, one that produced a 4,000-yard passer and two 1,000-yard rushers. Further, Lindsey, unlike predecessor Mike Norvell, now head coach at Memphis, is a long-time QB coach.
Haller dug up a few of Lindsey's old pupils, and their comments were glowing.
Corey Robinson played QB under Lindsey at Troy in 2010.
"He learns through practice what his players are good at and then he goes with that,'' Robinson told the Republic. "He doesn’t try to make everybody be good at everything. He takes what a kid is good at and then makes them flourish, if that makes sense."
The Sun Devils will feature a battle between sophomore Manny Wilkins, redshirt freshmen Brady White and Bryce Perkins and true freshman Dillon Sterling-Cole. Whoever wins the job, it will be a baptism by fire, as none of the foursome has thrown a pass at the college level.
That's why this comment from former Georgia QB Hutson Mason stood out in the article. Mason was coached by Lindsey at Lassiter High School, which is just outside of Atlanta.
"The season can be a grind at the college level if your position coach is a Negative Nancy, so to speak, and every day you have to come to the building and you got to hear this guy and his glass-half-empty mentality,'' Mason told the Republic. "It gets old. But Chip isn't wired that way at all. He’s a glass half-full type of guy. As a player, you respected him and you always knew he was the head coach, but he also could drop down and make you feel like you could have a special relationship with him."
The general feeling is Arizona State will be rebuilding this year in the Pac-12's rugged South Division, as it was picked fifth in the preseason media poll. Even if the Sun Devils surprise some folks and make a move, it's likely that their young QB will have a few hiccups along the way. The ultimate measure of the season probably will end up being about how he responds to inevitable adversity.
So it's probably a good thing that Lindsey's old QBs say he's a patient, positive guy who tries to match his offense to his QBs strengths.