ASU notes: Sullivan steps up

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson began spring practices speaking highly of senior quarterback Danny Sullivan, and it now appears he wasn't just trying to buck up the three-year backup.

Sullivan is the clear No. 1 on the depth chart, with sophomores Samson Szakacsy and Chasen Stangel and true freshman Brock Osweiler battling for positioning in the overall pecking order behind him.

Sullivan's superior knowledge of the offense has helped, but he's also made plays, even with his feet, something the 6-foot-4, 242 pounder hasn't previously shown an ability to do.

"He's not the most mobile guy who's ever walked but he can run when he has to," Erickson said. "And he's got a gun. And he's been very accurate, which, to me, that's what it's all about."

While the defense has dominated spring practices, Sullivan appears to have earned team-wide respect.

"He'll be fine," linebacker Mike Nixon said. "He's a big guy with a strong arm who's smart. He knows the system. They're going to use him the right way and keep him within the system."

  • Sophomore Garth Gerhart, brother to Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, has passed returning senior starter Thomas Altieri at center.

  • Injuries have been a big issue. At least seven potential starters -- including three offensive lineman -- are sitting out.

  • Senior Dimitri Nance earned praise from Erickson for a good spring and is No. 1 at tailback.

  • With cornerback Omar Bolden sitting out while recovering from shoulder surgery Terell Carr, Pierre Singfield and LeQuan Lewis have played well, suggesting there's good depth at the position.

  • Linebacker prospect Jordan Zumwalt of Edison High School in Huntington Beach, Calif., watched practice Wednesday. Arizona State, Washington State and Boise State have already offered him, but he's expected to draw more attention in the Pac-10 over the coming months.