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Who Will Separate Themselves in Arizona State's Receiving Corps?

There's a plethora of young talent in ASU's pass-catching depth, yet who can stand out to get on the field?

In recent memory, it hasn't been a bad time to be an Arizona State receiver. Respected guys such as Jaelen Strong, N'Keal Harry, Brandon Aiyuk and Frank Darby have made their mark for the Sun Devils during their short stays in Tempe. 

All of the aforementioned players managed to find themselves drafted into the NFL, signaling ASU's ability to both acquire proper talent and develop receivers. 

After Darby departed Arizona State last season, the Sun Devils are now in search of their next No. 1 receiver. ASU's receiving corps remains littered with talented but inexperienced playmakers, all vying for the opportunity to play on the field. 

After Darby went down last season, no receiver was able to truly answer the bell. The Sun Devils leading receiver in 2020? Running back Rachaad White. 

With a strong rushing attack and quarterback Jayden Daniels looking to have his best season to date, the emergence of reliable pass-catchers would be the final touches on what many would believe to be a perfectly balanced offense. 

Who Can Emerge?

Graduate transfer Bryan Thompson may step into the No. 1 role thanks to his experience at Utah. Thompson averaged 22.9 yards per catch before transferring to ASU, where he will have two years of eligibility. 

Elijah Badger, one of a handful of prominent receivers from the class of 2020, was expected to make some noise this year after being ruled academically ineligible last season. Fellow receivers in his class such as Junior Alexander and Chad Johnson Jr. may also see some work, although fall camp has yet to see major action from any of the three receivers mentioned. 

LV Bunkley-Shelton is another name that could emerge, as the slot receiver appeared in all four games for Arizona State in 2020. Bunkley-Shelton has split reps with Ricky Pearsall in fall camp, according to 247 Sports.

Andre Johnson (superb name for a receiver), Geordon Porter and Johnny Wilson are also names to monitor. Porter displayed the ability to play across multiple spots on the field, while Johnson is a 6-foot-3 redshirt sophomore that has experience in both seasons played at ASU. 

Out of all the names listed above, Arizona State may roll with the following lineup in traditional three wide receiver sets: Thompson, Wilson and Bunkley-Shelton (slot). Thompson's experience should prove to be pivotal in the early stages of the season, while guys such as Wilson and Bunkley-Shelton are respectively young but offer tremendous upside. 

Of course, there's plenty of time for the Sun Devils to figure out their situation in the receiver's room. Arizona State's first game of the season (Sept. 2 vs Southern Utah) should be a great litmus test for ASU to gauge their receivers. 

While there's no clear alpha, the Sun Devils have a room full of talented receivers who could prove capable of getting the job done.