With the focus during recruiting on offensive and defensive lineman and defensive backs, Blake Anderson’s staff was only able to leave one spot for a quarterback recruit. So going into spring practice the Red Wolves will have only three QB’s on their roster. The upside to that is that all three should get plenty of reps. Justice Hansen is the odds on favorite to retain the QB1 job, leaving two inexperienced unknowns to battle it out for the number two spot while the staff awaits its lone high school recruit to come to campus in the fall.
Let’s take a look at what ASU will have behind the center in 2017.
The Returning Starter
Justice Hansen 6’4” 207 Jr. Edmond Ok
The staff waited until week four against UCA to hand over the starting duties to the heralded sophomore from Oklahoma and he responded by throwing for 424 yards in the loss. The next week cemented his place as the permanent starter as he scrambled for an improbable first down on fourth and 16, eventually lifting ASU past Georgia Southern and on their way to another Sun Belt title. Hansen would finish the season 9-1 as the starter and earn the privilege of starting the spring as QB1.
The Battle For #2
Now comes the great unknown for the Red Wolves behind center. What if something happens to Justice Hansen and Blake Anderson has to go to the bench? Who does he point to?
Logan Bonner 6’1” 224 Soph Rowlett TX
Even though Bonner has not attempted a pass as a Red Wolf yet, Coach Anderson has not hesitated from saying that he has a solid skills set and will push returning starter Hansen in spring ball. Bonner played 6A football in Texas where he threw for 8263 yards and 73 touchdowns as a three year starter. How hard he will push for the number one spot remains to be seen but regardless Anderson has to find a solid backup and will give Bonner plenty of repetitions in the spring to prove he is that guy.
Carson Coats 6’1” 203 Soph Jonesboro Ar
Coats is the hometown QB who may be destined to be the perennial reserve. He was an All-State performer and team captain at Jonesboro. As a senior he threw for 2150 yards and 21 touchdowns. Just as it is with Bonner, Coats will have plenty of repetitions to show what he can bring to the table.
So What Happens?
It appears the spring will be a chance for Justice Hansen to get the majority of snaps as QB1 and the opportunity to get comfortable with how the offense will look with Anderson back in control of the play calling. Expect an emphasis on the running game in the spring to take some pressure off of Hansen in the fall. Bonner and Coats will get plenty of reps and look for Bonner to come out of spring as the clear QB2. High school signee Aldon Clark will be on campus this fall and will probably redshirt with Hansen only being a junior, so the need for a solid backup to develop becomes more important.