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ASU’s Sterling-Cole taking on bigger leadership role with young QB group

(AP Photo/Matt York)

TEMPE, Ariz. — It’s no secret.

The Arizona State Sun Devils have a decision to make when it comes to their starting quarterback situation.

While all the talk is centered around the three freshman quarterbacks on the team, don’t count out veteran signal caller Dillon Sterling-Cole for the starting spot.

He’s been in this position before.

“I love it,” the quarterback said during ASU’s media day on Thursday. “It’s no different from since I started here. … Just learning how to handle that adversity has been the easiest thing for me because I’ve been doing this since I got here.”

Playing behind former ASU starter Manny Wilkins, Sterling-Cole saw limited snaps on offense. In six games over the course of his ASU career, Sterling-Cole has completed 28 of his 57 passes for 388 yards and a touchdown. He’s also thrown four interceptions.

And although he would like to take over the reins for the Sun Devils, Sterling-Cole is focused on one thing.

Giving the team a leader.

“Going into this spring, what I’m focusing on is the team camaraderie. Going out from the spring to the summer, summer workouts to fall camp,” Sterling-Cole said. “That team camaraderie, that team aspect is going to be the biggest thing for me to focus on. The team is going to be fine, regardless of the quarterback.

“I’m going to be focusing on ‘hey make sure your taking your steps right.’ I’m that guy now. I’m that Manny Wilkins to these guys. But I’m not Manny Wilkins, I’m Dillon Sterling-Cole.”

Sterling-Cole is already leading by example during the offseason.

After weighing in at 245 pounds at the Las Vegas Bowl, Sterling-Cole made it a priority to eat right and get into the best shape he can, dropping down to 218.

He’s also not wavering on staying committed to the Sun Devils, even with the influx of young quarterbacks now on the team.

“I’ve been a Sun Devil throughout this whole process since I’ve been here,” Sterling-Cole said when asked if he ever thought about transferring.

“Once I committed in July of 2015 I knew this was my place to call home, regardless of who they bring in, what transfers come in. This is going to a team I love regardless of who’s on the team or not.

“I’m here for a reason, and that’s to promote team and be the best person that I can be.”

ASU kicks off spring football on Tuesday.

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