As a redshirt sophomore, quarterback Manny Wilkins became a starter of the Arizona State Sun Devils football team. Since then, he has become one of the program’s elite signal callers.
Wilkins is currently tied at second place for the most rushing touchdowns made by a quarterback in school history with 14 scoring runs. He also has 6,823 career passing yards. Through all of his contributions on field, his shining achievement is becoming team captain.
“One of the best awards that I’ve gotten since being at ASU was the leadership award, the captain award,” Wilkins said. “I play the game for competition, but being recognized as a leader of men is probably my greatest accomplishment.”
Wilkins recalled his first game as a starter in 2015, he noted how he threw an interception on the first snap.
“I felt a little bit of jitters,” Wilkins said. “After you throw your first pass, it all kind of goes away.”
The 2018 season brought Arizona State a new coach in Herm Edwards and Wilkins adjusted to the change.
“He has a contagious personality, that makes you want to be around him,” Wilkins said. “We talk about with him all the time how blessed we are to be in the shoes that we’re in.”
Arizona State is currently 3-2 overall with a 1-1 conference record. In their home opener against USTA, Wilkins scored four touchdowns to win 49-7. The quarterback endured an interception and two sacks to defeat Michigan State in week two. San Diego State gave the Sun Devils their first loss.
“I feel bad for any team that goes against that defense,” Wilkins said. “It’s very rare to see that defense in the country.”
Throughout high school, he enjoyed playing baseball and basketball along with football. At Fort Bend Elkins High School in Texas, he earned a spot on the football team at 14, but squandered his opportunity after being expelled from the school.
Wilkins got a new start after moving to Novato, CA and went on to compete with the nation’s best high school talent in the Elite-11 quarterback camp and the All-American Bowl. Family was a key source of inspiration throughout the way.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of having a family that supports you, supports your dreams,” Wilkins said.
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