Manny Wilkins will play on Saturday against Colorado.
Or so Todd Graham says.
The announcement shocked some people due to the fact that Wilkins has been a limited participant in practice all week. He has missed the last six quarters after suffering an injury late in the first half against USC.
To put it lightly, Arizona State is in a tricky situation with their quarterbacks. Due to Brady White’s season-ending injury, the Sun Devils have resorted to true freshmen Dillon Sterling-Cole and Jack Smith, who is listed as a wide receiver, as their additional quarterbacks.
Graham said that Wilkins was more active today than he has been any other day this week.
“I anticipate him to play. I don’t know how much. Obviously that can change. If we had to play today it would probably be a combination. Hopefully in a couple of days he will be ready to go completely, but he threw today and looked good.”
No matter how much of the game Wilkins plays, he won’t be the same quarterback, as it’s tough to expect his mobility to be as strong as it has been in previous games.
In order to aid the quarterback who relies almost as much on his feet as he does his arm, running back duo Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage will have to establish the run for the Sun Devils
Sterling-Cole is the only other option with game experience, although his one career pass was an interception in the end zone.
“He (Sterling-Cole) and Jack, both of them have had solid weeks,” Graham said. “They have different skill sets, so we are going to do whatever we have to do to win.”
As he should, Graham has confidence in his bunch to win this week against Colorado, whether they are starting a quarterback that isn’t fully healthy, an inexperienced one, or decide to play a combination of both.
“You will see guys rise up and take it to the next level,” he said. “That’s what teams with character and synergy will do. I’d much rather not have those distractions, but it’s part of it. There are no excuses, just figure out a way to get it done.”