At the beginning of training camp, nobody expected Taylor Kelly to compete for the starting quarterback job at ASU.
Not only did Kelly compete, but he won the job and never gave it up despite a hard push from redshirt freshman Michael Eubank.
A redshirt sophomore, Kelly threw for 2,772 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first season as the Sun Devil starter.
"I learned a lot. I got a lot better from the beginning of the season," Kelly told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf. "The preparation of understanding defense, what it takes to win in tough games, how to bounce back from loses and to stay focused. I have just got to keep improving those and keep learning."
With seniors like Cameron Marshall, Keelan Johnson and Brandon Magee graduating, the Devils will look for Kelly to become a team leader next season.
"I want guys to look up to me and know that I got faith in them and that we can continue on through adversity," Kelly said. "I am excited for that."
Kelly felt that he started to emerge into his no role in Arizona State's come from behind 41-34 victory over the Arizona Wildcats Friday.
"In the game at U of A, I kinda felt more (that) the guys looked up to me," Kelly said. "Me speaking to them on the sideline, getting them going, I just felt more of a leadership role more than I have this season."
If all goes according to plan, Kelly will be the first ASU quarterback to start for two full consecutive seasons since Rudy Carpenter did so in 2007-2008.