When Arizona State's spring football practice wrapped up in late-April, you'd have been a fool to predict that sophomore Taylor Kelly would be the Sun Devils' starting quarterback when the season opened in August.
After all, Kelly was clearly the third quarterback in the pecking order behind fellow sophomore Mike Bercovici and redshirt freshman Michael Eubank.
But that depth chart got flipped on its ear in the fall, with Kelly emerging as the starter, followed by Eubank and Bercovici. And with the Sun Devils' season opener against NAU just two days away, Kelly is feeling confident and prepared for his first collegiate start.
"I'm ready, I'm really excited for Thursday," Kelly said Tuesday. "I worked hard for it over the summer and during spring and it's finally here, so let's take advantage of it."
Kelly won the favor of new ASU head coach Todd Graham by taking care of the football and managing the team efficiently during fall camp. Kelly says he's seen improvements in other areas of his game.
"I feel confident with my vertical passing game and my reads," he said.
Kelly becomes the fifth different starting quarterback in the last five season openers for ASU. The Eagle High School (ID) graduate expects to feel a full range of emotions on Thursday.
"I'm going to have butterflies, I'm going to have excitement, the crowd is gonna be going, there's going to be chills," he said. "I can't wait."
Arizona Sports' Craig Grialou contributed to this report