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SI’s Pete Thamel picks ASU’s Mike Bercovici to win Heisman Trophy

Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici (2) runs for a first down against Stanford during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

There has been plenty of preseason hype for Arizona State senior quarterback Mike Bercovici.

Finally a starter after sitting behind Taylor Kelly for the better part of three seasons, this year’s Sun Devils are Bercovici’s team. His head coach has lauded his leadership and his abbreviated stint as the starter in 2014 has experts around the country very excited about this season.

Travis Haney of ESPN named Bercovici as the top breakout player candidate in the nation earlier this week, but another writer has topped even that lofty projection.

Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel picks Bercovici to win the Heisman Trophy.

Let’s go with a long shot here. He’s already shown he can put up a ton of yards. Plus, Todd Graham isn’t shy about hanging big numbers on opponents. The weapons are there, and so is a porous defense that will force him to keep scoring. A bet on Bercovici is also a bet on Arizona State coming out of the Pac-12 South.

Thamel is one of two members of SI’s panel of experts to pick the Sun Devils to advance to the College Football Playoff. He’s got ASU facing Georgia in the Cotton Bowl, which is one of two national semifinals this season. Brian Hamilton sees ASU taking on Baylor in the same game. Both have the Devils bowing out at that point.

If Bercovici’s statistics as a three-game starting role from 2014 repeat this year, he’s got a good chance to win the most coveted individual award in college football. Those numbers, projected over 12 games, would have Bercovici completing 368-of-583 passes for 4,971 yards, 36 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Those are Heisman-worthy stats.

It is interesting to note that ASU hasn’t had a player receive a single Heisman vote since quarterback Jake Plummer finished third in the balloting in 1996, behind Florida’s Danny Wuerffel and Iowa State’s Troy Davis. The only other year Arizona State players showed in the voting was 1973, when running back Woody Green finished eighth and quarterback Danny White finished ninth.

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