Will some of the ASU quarterback hopefuls please move to the other side of the boat? It’s beginning to list heavily to one side.
It looks like the Arizona State program just picked up another good one, as T.J. Millweard has reportedly backed out of his commitment to Virginia Tech, which he made in February, and is headed to Tempe. An article in The Virginia-Pilot newspaper confirms that the highly-touted four-star recruit in the 2012 Class is making the switch to ASU.
Hey, Viginia Tech isn’t just any run-of-the-mill program. The Hokies are one of the hottest teams in the country right now. They finished the 2010 season 11-3, won the ACC Championship by beating Florida State, and earned a spot in the Orange Bowl (where they lost to an even hotter team, Stanford).
Millweard is a great catch for head coach, Dennis Erickson. The 6’4″, 225 lb. signal caller is currently ranked at No. 6 in the country at his position by ESPN and last year, as a junior at All Saints High School in Texas, he threw for 1,621 yards and 11 touchdowns.
His high school coach says he is extremely athletic and has both great pocket presence and good open-field speed. ESPN’s scouting report agrees, noting that he has a big arm and looks like a pocket passer, but his speed and athleticism make him a legitimate dual-threat.
ASU isn’t a Virginia Tech, but it is a program on the rise. Maybe that attracted the youngster.
Or maybe it had something to do with the Hokies bringing in another QB recruit for the 2012 Class, Brendan Motley, who is the No. 16-rated player in the state of Virginia. Millweard gave his coach, Frank Beamer, the news that he was leaving right after Motley’s commitment was announced.
But if it’s competition that Millweard was trying to avoid, Tempe isn’t the best choice.
Despite losing both their starter and a back-up quarterback after last season, the Sun Devils have loaded up on top-tier recruits at that position. With the addition of Millweard, there are five QBs either on board or arriving by 2012.
The starting job for 2011 is expected to go to Brock Osweiler, the 6’8″ junior from Montana who took the reins for the final two games last season after Steven Threet went down with his fourth concussion – and racked up 647 passing yards and five TDs in winning both games.
As Threet tried to recover from his latest concussion, he decided it was time for an early ‘retirement’ from the game.
And another back-up who would have competed for this year’s starting job, junior Samson Szakacsy, left the team “to pursue other interests” after playing in just one game last year.
So Osweiler should still be under center when the 2012 season rolls around, and three of the four other QBs on this year’s roster will still be waiting in line ahead of Millweard when he arrives on campus for the 2012 campaign.
The only one dropping from the roster after this year will be the lone upper-classman, senior Joe Arreguin. The graduate of Cienega High School in Vail transferred into the ASU program after playing at Pima Community College, but isn’t high enough on the depth charts to expect to see any playing time.
Then there’s Taylor Kelly who, as a redshirt freshman last year, is already in line. He has paid his dues by spending the 2010 season as part of the Sun Devil scout team. When Kelly left Eagle High School in Idaho, after throwing for 2,509 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior, he was generally regarded as the top senior in the state. Scout.com had him ranked as the No. 84 quarterback prospect in the nation.
The other two freshmen, who will be coming in with the 2011 Class, are both ranked in the Top-10 in the nation.
Michael Bercovici was able to graduate early from Taft High School California so that he could enroll early at ASU and get a start on his college career. But before leaving Taft, he set school records in his senior year by passing for 3,755 yard and 37 touchdowns.
Michael Eubank was recruited out of Centennial High in California, the eighth player that ASU football has plucked from that school. He was a four-star prospect that Rivals.com listed as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback recruit in the nation. His career stats at Centennial included 3,982 yards passing and 1,687 rushing.
It’s a feather in Erickson’s cap to be able to lure a top recruit away from a top football program. And he needs all the feathers he can get as he tries to put the ASU program back in the national spotlight after three disappointing seasons.
But once the kid gets here, Erickson will have to figure out what to do with him.
(Photo: ASU Athletics)