We continue our offseason coverage of Pac-12 football by taking inventory of each team's returning depth chart. Here are the top-10 players who will suit up in an Arizona State uniform this coming season. These rankings are obviously subjective, and comparing players at different positions is certainly not a cut-and-dried task, so keep that in mind as you read our take on it.
Also, since ASU has a QB-TBD situation going on, we're sidestepping the position until we know for sure. The same goes for wide receiver N'Keal Harry, who comes in as the No. 1 receiver in the country in the 2016 recruiting class. We're going to let him play a game or two first before a coronation.
RB Demario Richard: This seems obvious. And it is. After netting 1,104 yards with seven touchdowns last season, Richard is expected to be the favorite of new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey -- who will likely try to keep some pressure off of the new quarterback with a steady ground game.
CB/WR/KR: De'Chavon "Gump" Hayes: In the spring, we can only go by what coaches are saying. And Todd Graham hasn't been shy about calling Hayes electric. First, he fills a position of need at cornerback. But if he can do everything Graham says he can -- play wide receiver, return kicks, be a true triple threat -- then his high ranking is warranted. If.
LB Salamo Fiso: With 99 tackles last season -- including a league high 20 for a loss -- Fiso led the Sun Devils in stops (barely, see below). While ASU's defense was notorious for giving up big plays, Fiso also made his share of them. And if ASU is going to improve on its 33.5 points allowed last season, Fiso will be a big reason why.
LB Christian Sam: Sam posted 98 tackles last season -- second only to Fiso's 99. He also had 6.5 tackles for a loss and a trio of sacks to go with one interception. He also forced a pair of fumbles. Like Fiso, it will be up to Sam to help the Sun Devils cut down on the explosive plays that haunted the ASU defense in 2015.
DB Kareem Orr: When you lead the Pac-12 in interceptions (6) as a true freshman, you're setting the bar a bit high for the rest of your career. He also pitched in 38 stops and forced a fumble.
DL JoJo Wicker: As one staff member recently noted to me, he was a pup last year and now he's transformed himself into a man's body this spring. That's a scary thought, considering as a true freshman he posted 7.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks to go with 21 tackles.
WR Tim White: He tied for the team high with eight receiving touchdowns last season. And with Devin Lucien and D.J. Foster gone, he should flourish as the No. 1 receiver (along with Cam Smith coming back from injury opposite him). He also was the primary kick returner -- averaging 27 yards per return with one touchdown -- and we could see him a little at corner in 2016.
WR Cameron Smith: We think so highly of Smith -- who missed all of 2015 -- to still put him on this list. Because it was obvious the Sun Devils missed him last season. Little known fact is that in 2014 he actually had more explosive plays than Jaelen Strong. With him opposite Smith, the Sun Devils have a wide receiving tandem that could be among the best in the league.
RB Kalen Ballage: We flipped a coin here between Ballage and Viliami Moeakiola. But because the latter missed spring, we'll go with Ballage. He's a fine complement to Richard after posting 653 yards and four touchdowns last season. It's a solid 1-2 punch that should provide the QB-TBD a reliable running game.
K Zane Gonzalez: The leading scorer in school history has been all-conference in the past and should be on the appropriate preseason watch lists. He struggled a bit last season, converting 26 of 34 kicks (76.5 percent) but was 22 of 24 from inside 40 yards. He was 0-for-3 from beyond 50, but 4-of-7 from 40-49 yards. His 66 touchbacks were greatly appreciated by the coaching staff.