Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly has, once again, quietly put together a very good season.
The junior from Eagle, Idaho is sixth in the Pac-12 in passing efficiency with a rating of 141.2 and his 24 touchdown passes are the third-most in the conference. You’ll find Kelly among the national leaders in points responsible for next to names like Johnny Manziel, Jordan Lynch, Marcus Mariota, Tajh Boyd and Jameis Winston. But most importantly, Kelly’s got his team in position to win the Pac-12 South.
So why doesn’t ASU’s signal caller get respect on the national stage?
“That’s the million-dollar question right there,” ASU radio color analyst Jeff Van Raaphorst told Doug and Wolf Wednesday morning. “You look at his numbers and he should. I think it’s just because he’s not flashy. He doesn’t have what the NFL would say is a big-time arm — he’s got a good arm — and he’s very accurate and steady.”
But is it fair to judge a player like Kelly based on what the NFL may think of him now, despite the fact that he’s got another full season of college ball in front of him?
Van Raaphorst thinks Kelly has done more than enough to prove he’s a legitimate college quarterback that can lead a successful program.
“If you’re playing D-I ball and you got a scholarship and you’re starting, you’ve made it,” he said. “Now we want to hang this moniker on him like ‘gee, he’s not a star.'”
Kelly, who is 16-7 as a starter, will lead the Sun Devils against UCLA (8-2, 5-2) Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. With a win, Arizona State would clinch their first Pac-12 South crown.