For Manny Wilkins, the choice was clear.
The moment Todd Graham and his staff at Arizona State offered the four-star duel-threat quarterback from northern California it was a match made in heaven. Wednesday the 6’3, 185-pounder made it officially official faxing the necessary paperwork to Tempe.
“7:01 [AM],” Wilkins told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a recent phone interview when asked what time he sent over his letter of intent.”
Seems only fitting for Wilkins, the most decorated ASU quarterback recruit since 2005, who’s been outspoken and supportive of the Sun Devils’ program on social media since initially committing.
“I look at in a very positive way,” Wilkins explained to Cesmat about staying true to ASU throughout the entire process, even when other schools like Arizona, Colorado State, Utah State and Wyoming pursued him. “I’m very blessed to be in the position that I am in today…I really think it was very key, especially being a quarterback, I really push being a leader. I really want to become the leader of a program in the future.”
Many expect Wilkins to replace senior-to-be Taylor Kelly under center in 2015. He says the timing couldn’t be better.
“I get to learn behind T.K. and coach [Mike] Norvell. It was just really good for me to get on board early.”
Kelly has become somewhat of a mentor for Wilkins. They speak frequently and are “really close.” He said he’s looking forward to working with him this summer in Tempe. A true student of the game, Wilkins studied each game from the 2013 Pac-12 South Championship season “multiple times” to help him get better acquainted with the offense.
“I really crack down on all that stuff because I’m very anxious to get out there and really take over,” he said. “I’m not the guy that’s going to go out there and say, just because I’m redshirting I don’t need to work as hard as T.K. or [Mike] Bercovici is working. I’m going to go out there with the mentality that I can start my freshman year. I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen but that’s going to push me and make me work that much harder.”
Along with Wilkins who tallied 36 touchdowns and close to 3000 total yards his senior season, ASU also signed 6’0, 216-pound Coltin Gerhart, the younger brother of former Sun Devil standout offensive lineman Garth Gerhart.