What if you would have missed out on the greatest night of your life?
That very thing was a real possibility for Arizona State Sun Devils QB Mike Bercovici, who nearly transferred schools in 2012.
Bercovici’s first thoughts of leaving Arizona State came after losing the three-man race to replace departed starting QB Brock Osweiler, who was drafted by the Denver Broncos. Taylor Kelly won the job after a strong fall camp and has been the starter ever since.
“Any competitor would be real frustrated with (not winning the starting job), changing coaches, changing offensive coordinators,” Bercovici told Bickley and Marotta Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “In my own head I knew I could play somewhere.”
Despite that feeling and his support staff urging him to go elsewhere, Bercovici decided to stay at Arizona State. Making a pros and cons list helped him make that decision.
On the pros side of the list was the potential to eventually start, being a team captain, being able to play in Sun Devil Stadium and most importantly personal perseverance and trust in the team.
“I didn’t just commit to the football team, I committed to the state. I committed to the university,” Bercovici said.
The QB recalled a conversation he had with his father who told him: “Could you imagine if you’re somewhere else and all of a sudden your team needs you for a game and you weren’t there?” Bercovici said that left a bitter taste in his mouth.
Lo and behold, his team did need him. Kelly injured his right foot and missed the UCLA and USC games the last couple weeks. Bercovici was called on to lead the 3-0 Sun Devils.
After throwing for 488 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in a 62-27 loss to UCLA, Bercovici bounced back and made a play he will never forget.
Down with just seconds remaining, only one play stood between the Devils losing two games in a row. The call was a Hail Mary, a play easily defended and that almost never works. Bercovici threw the ball as far as he could and it floated 46 yards and into the hands of Jaelen Strong for the game-winning touchdown.
Arizona State head coach Todd Graham told FOX after the game that the final play was the reason young athletes should not transfer schools. He said Bercovici would have missed out on the greatest night of his life.
No matter what happens in the future, Bercovici can reflect on that Hail Mary and his moment in the national spotlight. A moment he will never forget.