NFL-bound: Osweiler leaves behind ASU passing records

Brock Osweiler has always seen football as a simple game.

“Take what they give you.  I would say that is how I have always played,” he once explained at a weekly press conference.  “If a guy is open, he’s getting the football; if he’s not open, I move on to the next guy.

“It’s pretty much that simple.”

And the record-setting quarterback is apparently applying that philosophy to his decision to leave Arizona State with a year of eligibility left to enter the 2012 NFL draft.

He’s moving on to the ‘next guy’.

Primary option for next year:  Stay put at Arizona State and pad the record book even more. In his first year as a starter, the tallest signal caller in college football (6’8″) became the first Sun Devil to throw for more than 4,000 yards (4,036).

Secondary receiver:  UCLA, where he could have joined with the offensive coordinator he had grown close to on the ASU sideline.  When Dennis Erickson was fired at season’s end, Noel Mazzone, who was so tight with Osweiler that the two could finish each other’s thoughts, took a similar coordinator position with the Bruins after two years in Tempe.

Final read:  The NFL, where he is expected by most analysts to be a late second-round pick, or somewhere in the third or fourth rounds.

The pro game will be getting a good college quarterback that has upside galore.  Osweiler threw for 300 or more yards six times last season, with the total exceeding 350 in four of those games.

He also set new school records in 2011 for completions (326), attempts (516), and completion percentage (63.2).  His 26 passing touchdowns rank fourth-most in program history.

Arizona State almost missed out on the opportunity to put the kid from Montana on its roster.  Osweiler had committed to play basketball at Gonzaga, but decided in May of 2008 that he wanted to be a Sun Devil instead of a Zag, and play football.  By January of 2009, he was officially a Devil after graduating early from high school.

He made his decision to leave Tempe with the same determination.  In a statement he released through the ASU media department, he called the decision to enter the NFL draft the second-most difficult of his life, right behind the decision to come to ASU.

“It was an exceptionally difficult decision to make, but having spoken to my family and close friends, it became clear to me that this is the next path I must take to advance my personal and professional career.”

Erickson’s replacement at head coach, Todd Graham, issued a statement of his own, saying that “Brock is doing what he believes is best for him and his family, and we respect that.

“He will always have an open door to come back to Arizona State University.  Once a Sun Devil, always a Sun Devil.”

That’s a good thing, since Osweiler admits he has a pitchfork tatoo stenciled on his rib cage.

He says the tat symbolizes “the best three years of my life.”

But ASU fans would probably agree that he gave back even more than he took during those three years.

 (Photo: ASU Athletics)