Like the quarterback Michael Eubank grew up watching and wears the number 18 for, Peyton Manning, he knows a strong leader at the starting quarterback position could essentially translate into being the backbone of the team.
“When I went through this in high school,” Eubank recalled, “and with the team not having one set leader, the chemistry wasn’t as strong as it could have been.”
A couple of weeks prior to fall camp, Head Coach Todd Graham stated that he couldn’t envision Eubank not playing during the 2012 season, implying that either Eubank could be the bona fide starter for the upcoming season or have to split time between one of the other two signal callers on the team.
“It is good to hear (Graham’s statement) but at the same time I don’t want to split time with anyone,” Eubank admitted. “I want to make sure every snap is mine.”
While sharing time is not something that Eubank necessarily looks forward to, he understands that if the coaches were to make that decision it will be a resolution deemed as the best for the team and he will have no problem embracing the opportunity at hand.
“I don’t mind doing whatever it takes to win,” Eubank remarked. “I am going to play in my place and do whatever I have to do to make sure this team is successful.”
Though Eubank was nicknamed ‘Cam Jr.’ because the similarities in physical attributes and style of play, to that of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, he rather make a name for himself than follow in the footsteps of another.
“I don’t look to do anything that Cam Newton has done because I am Michael Eubank,” the ASU signal caller noted. “I am a completely different person.”
However, one thing Eubank hopes to do as well as Newton accomplished during his rookie season in the NFL, is prove the critics wrong, showcase his all-around skills at the position and enjoy a breakout year as his team’s first-year starter.
“I do want to silence anyone that has anything bad to say about me or my skill set,” Eubank confessed.
As Arizona State wraps up its first week of fall practices there are many players who could be singled out for their dramatic improvement, and Eubank believes he should be included in that group.
“My performance has definitely elevated since spring,” Eubank claimed. “I had many turnovers, and now in these summer practices I haven’t had any. It has been a really good camp so far.”
Eubank added that his footwork has improved and he is becoming more accurate at hitting his receivers, an area that has been criticized of in past practices.
Otherwise, as far as weaknesses are concerned, a confident Eubank simply stated:
“I don’t think I have any.”
There is no doubt that having a veteran signal caller on ASU’s roster, would provide much needed guidance for a redshirt freshman quarterback such as Eubank. Yet, he sees the positives of the current position depth outweighing the negatives.
“I thought it would be hard not having someone to look up to,” Eubank said, “but having (Offensive Coordinator) Coach Norvell there to explain things in terms we can understand is great and much needed.
“If there was an older quarterback here, it might mean he is the starter.”
Eubank and the rest of the Sun Devils are set to make the journey up to Camp Tontozona next Tuesday where Eubank is not only excited to see the rich tradition that place holds, but also experience the team’s camaraderie grow even bigger than it already is.
“We have grown a lot closer as a team since Coach Graham has come here,” Eubank said. “Us going to Camp T and being around all the history and tradition will help us grow even closer as a family.
“I am looking forward to being with my brothers.”