Manny Wilkins set to return from injury, start against Utah

Nov 8, 2016, 8:21 AM

Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins heads to the locker room after facing Colorado in the secon...

Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins heads to the locker room after facing Colorado in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado won 40-16. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

For the first time since 2009, Arizona State has started three quarterbacks in the same season as sophomore Manny Wilkins, redshirt freshman Brady White and true freshman Dillon Sterling-Cole have all earned starts this year.

Wilkins won ASU’s first open quarterback competition since 2012 outright in fall camp, but since suffering a high ankle sprain against USC in late September, the Sun Devils’ signal-caller has battled various injuries that have held him out of action and limited his effectiveness when he has played.

After sitting out of the Sun Devils’ matchup with the Oregon Ducks last Saturday with an upper body injury, Wilkins is poised to return to the starting lineup when ASU hosts Utah on Thursday evening.

At Sunday’s practice, Wilkins was a full participant in warmups, individual drills and a team tempo period open to the media. After not throwing the ball in portions of practices open to the media last week, Wilkins was throwing passes in individual drills and led the first-team offense during the 11-on-11 period Sunday.

“It’s great to have him back, and I think it’s obviously been tough,” ASU head coach Todd Graham said. “Dillon’s (Sterling-Cole) done a good job, but obviously the experience, the reps and all of those things are big and in that Washington State game when he (Wilkins) was in, it just impacts us to have him.”

Wilkins isn’t the only key player who has been hampered by injuries of late, as nine different Sun Devils’ starters were held out of the team’s 54-35 loss against the Ducks last Saturday.

With a depth chart decimated by injuries, ASU eased its practice schedule during the team’s bye week and didn’t practice in pads. As a result, Graham said most of the players who missed Saturday’s game should be healthier and available to play against the Utes.

“We look to have him (Wilkins) back, Demario (Richard) will be back, the other thing in the secondary, having Kareem (Orr) and Armand (Perry) back, we’re hoping to have Salamo (Fiso) back, we won’t have Christian (Sam) back, I think other than maybe a lineman or two we should be pretty healthy.”

Richard, Orr and Perry all practiced with the rest of ASU’s starters during the team’s 11-on-11 period Sunday morning, but Fiso and linemen Sam Jones and Stephon McCray were all held out of drills.

With Fiso out, ASU shifted junior pass rusher Koron Crump to Sam linebacker against Oregon, and on Sunday, Crump continued to practice with the first-team defense at Sam.

With Jones and McCray out, ASU shifted sophomore right tackle Quinn Bailey inside to right guard and elevated redshirt freshmen Steve Miller and Zach Robertson into the lineup at left guard and right tackle respectively.

After Sunday’s practice, Graham said the Sun Devils’ bye week helped the team improve its overall health, and that ASU focused on regaining rhythm after a short break in their normal schedule.

“It helped a lot and we took a lot of time off,” Graham said. “We had a good fundamental day today for our timing and that kind of stuff and we had a good practice today.”

News and notes

• Senior wide receiver Tim White was not at practice Sunday morning. White played against Oregon last Saturday, but was limited to playing only on special teams due to a lower body injury.

• Jones and McCray did not participate in warmups or drills Sunday morning and instead stood off the side of warmups. Both players had been in walking boots after suffering injuries against Colorado and Oregon, respectively, but neither player is wearing a walking boot anymore.

• Junior wide receiver Cameron Smith warmed up in the injury line Sunday, and then joined Jones and McCray at Muscle Beach where the trio stretched alongside junior linebacker Christian Sam.

• Sophomore defensive back Das Tautalatasi suffered an injury during individual drills and needed to be helped off the field by ASU’s training staff. Once Tautalatasi was off to the side of field, the training staff looked at his groin/quad area.

This story appears on courtesy of a partnership with, part of the Scout Network and home for the most detailed information on Arizona State football.

Arizona State Football

Place kicker Ian Hershey #10 of the Idaho State Bengals gets a nearly mishandled punt off against t...

Arizona Sports

ASU football lands former Idaho State kicker, punter Ian Hershey

Place kicker Ian Hershey announced his commitment to Arizona State football after transferring from Idaho State.

17 hours ago

Larry Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Panthers, college football...

Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, 3 ASU players on 2024 College Football Hall of Fame ballot

Former Arizona Cardinals great Larry Fitzgerald and three Arizona State Sun Devils are on the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

17 hours ago

Follow @AZSports...

Arizona Sports

ASU’s Dillingham: QB Jaden Rashada ‘addicted to trying to be better’

The beginning of the Kenny Dillingham era in Tempe comes with an unknown at quarterback but also a few interesting options.

6 days ago

Kenny Dillingham, ASU football head coach...

Arizona Sports

2023 ASU football schedule includes FS1 appointments in nonconference

The Arizona State Sun Devils will begin the Kenny Dillingham era with a favorable schedule of four home games in a row.

6 days ago

(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...

Tom Kuebel

ASU receives commitment from 2024 prospect Albert Smith III

Arizona State football added a commitment from EDGE rusher Albert Smith III for its 2024 recruiting class, Smith announced on Twitter Sunday.

16 days ago

Offensive lineman Isaia Glass #73 of the Arizona State Sun Devils looks on from the sideline in the...

Wills Rice

The Draft Network: Pair of ASU offensive linemen impress at summer camp

Two Sun Devils competed in the second annual BRUTE OLine Development Camp in Minnesota this week and impressed scouts.

17 days ago

Manny Wilkins set to return from injury, start against Utah