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Arizona State Sun Devils

Updated Oct 17, 2012 - 8:25 pm

Former head coach: 'ASU's Taylor Kelly MVP of Pac-12'

Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly (10) joins teammates in greeting fans after their 27-17 win over California during an NCAA college football game in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The heaping praise for Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly has risen to a new level.

Former iconic UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Wednesday, Kelly's journey this season speaks volumes about his potential as a quarterback.

"I think no one really thought [Kelly] was going to be the savior," Neuheisel said. "He was I think listed as third on the depth chart when spring ball started. Low and behold, I listed him on our Pac-12 network when we were giving out midterm grades, I gave him the MVP of the league. I think he's been that good."

Kelly has garnered a lot of accolades of late, including being named the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Pac-12 Player of the Week and being added to the Manning Award Watch List.

He has led the Devils to an impressive 5-1 start, completing 112 of 164 passes for 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns with only two interceptions through six games this season.

"If [Kelly] plays like he's played at Sun Devil Stadium to date, they're going to give the Ducks everything they have," Neuheisel said.

Neuheisel attributes Kelly's success to his efficiency, resiliency and ability to stay focused in the most trying of circumstances.

"He has looked remarkably comfortable and even when it could have disintegrated when he missed some throws at Missouri, that could have resulted in victory, it didn't crush him," Neuheisel said. "He wasn't a shell of himself the next time out, looking for a place to hide. He came back and manned up against Cal."

Kelly's extraordinary poise and maturity is also a credit to head coach Todd Graham and his new philosophy, which has paid dividends so far for the Sun Devils.

"All [Graham] did was install his own program with respect to the discipline and the accountability that was going to be required and it's been a magic formula," Neuheisel stated.

A formula that seems to be cultivating a quarterback who could lead the Sun Devils to greener pastures.


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