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Pearsall Emerging in Arizona State Receiving Corps

The junior receiver has been a weapon for the Sun Devils in multiple facets.

Don't let the flashy uniforms or tremendous quarterback presence fool you: The Arizona State Sun Devils will run the football until it's out of style. 

That's not a bad thing, as the Sun Devils are able to control the game on the ground, wearing defenses out and controlling the clock in simultaneous fashion. 

That's also not to say ASU isn't capable of throwing the ball. Quarterback Jayden Daniels provides a strong-armed presence under center that could throw a soap bubble through a telephone pole. 

Savvy receivers like N'Keal Harry, Brandon Aiyuk and even Frank Darby have come through Arizona State. Heading into 2021, the Sun Devils didn't necessarily have a solidified No. 1 receiver highlighted on the depth chart. 

ASU's receiving corps is undoubtedly talented. Andre Johnson's ability to adjust to balls in the air thanks to his 6-foot-3, 206-pound frame is a thing of beauty. An even bigger receiver, Johnny Wilson's enormous 6-foot-7 frame provides the perfect red-zone target for Daniels to target. 

There is also the creative talents of LV Bunkley-Shelton, who showcased outstanding moves on his way to the end zone in last Saturday's win over UNLV. 

Elijah Badger, Bryan Thompson, Junior Alexander, and Geordon Porter are just a handful of other receivers capable of making an impact for the Sun Devils. 

For Arizona State, catching the ball is a group effort. Five players have at least five receptions in the Sun Devils' run-heavy attack through two games. However, one receiver has made significant impact thus far in 2021: Ricky Pearsall.

Pearsall's presence has been felt in nearly every phase of the offense, including showing off his arm as a passer. 

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While Daniels surely has no competition at quarterback, Pearsall (who is 2-for-2 for 81 in his college career throwing the ball) always has the potential to push the ball vertically, should offensive coordinator Zak Hill find it fitting. 

However, the junior receiver's passing abilities aren't what separates him from Sun Devils receivers. It's his dynamic in both catching and running the ball. 

Of all the receivers, Pearsall paces ASU in scrimmage yards with 105 through two games, 40 of which have come on the ground.

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As a receiver, Pearsall provides solid hands with the ability to rack up YAC (yards after catch) thanks to his moves in the open field. He has also displayed some hops when required.

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Tied for the team lead in receptions (six) with 10.8 yards per reception (tied for second among receivers) and eight touches through two games (leading all receivers), Pearsall has established himself as a prominent part of Arizona State's offense moving forward. 

As games progress and conference play begins, Pearsall (along with everyone else) will be required to step up their play. When the time comes, Pearsall will seek to provide a little bit of everything the Sun Devils need in a playmaker. 

Donnie Druin is a Deputy Editor with AllSunDevils. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin, and AllSunDevils @AllSunDevils. Like and follow AllSunDevils on Facebook, and for more ASU news visit https://www.si.com/college/arizonastate/