By Jeff Hauser @radiohauser on July 28, 2014
The Arizona State Sun Devils finished the 2013 season ranked No. 20 in the nation with a top 10 offense. They will look to be a dominate force this season in the Pac-12 Conference with these five players who are headed for breakout performances.
Defensive lineman Jaxon Hood returns to Arizona State for his junior campaign as one of the most experienced players on defense for the Sun Devils. Last season, Hood was a huge part of the Sun Devils' defensive success that ranked 2nd in the nation in forced turnovers with 63. His quick burst off the line makes Hood a force to be reckoned with as a pass rushing and run stopping.
Running Back D.J. Foster takes over this season after the departure of Marion Grice. He led the nation last season for receiving yards by a running back (653). Foster will be a dual threat for the Sun Devils out of the back field and in the flat with his pass catching ability. Foster is a great decision maker by allowing time for blocks to be in place while controlling his speed. He had 10 touchdowns last season, six rushing and four receiving.
Wide Receiver Jaelen Strong enters his Junior season and is looking to capitalize following a breakout first season with the Sun Devils. In Strong's sophomore campaign, he gathered 75 receptions for 1,122 yards along with seven 100+ yard receiving games, leading Arizona State’s high powered 10th ranked offense in receiving. These attributes earned Strong both Pac-12 Conference and Phil Steele honors.
Offensive lineman Jamil Douglas is an absolute beast on the offensive line for the Sun Devils. With his 6-foot-4 and 300 pound frame, he’s well known for his strength in the weight room. Douglas reportedly power cleans 385 pounds, squats 585 pounds and bench presses 415 pounds. He started every game last season and has successfully protected QB Taylor Kelly’s blind side. Douglas will be the anchor on the offensive line this season.
Quarterback Taylor Kelly returns this season as a team leader for the Sun Devils. He has 27 career starts under center and last season Kelly set the school record for pass completion percentage with 67.1. He has thrown 57 touchdowns in the past two seasons, most for any Sun Devils quarterback over a two-year span.
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