QB Josh Eckley's big year lands him on the map

Josh Eckley (Tempe, Ariz./Marcos De Niza) entered his junior season as something of an unknown commodity after serving as a backup last season. But after throwing for more than 2,500 yards and rushing for more than 500 in leading the Padres to an 11-2 record, Eckley is clearly on the radar of several Pac-12 programs.

Though he has yet to speak to any college coaches, Eckley said letters have increased in recent weeks and Arizona State is proving to be highly interested. That is the program with which Eckley is most familiar, as it is the local school and he has camped there twice, along with going to a number of Sun Devils' home games.

"They didn't really know me coming into the season because I was a backup," Eckley said. "Nobody really knew about me."

The 6-foot-1, 187-pound dual-threat quarterback said he grew up watching Florida, UCLA and USC, but is very interested in hearing from Oregon. Also, despite calling Ohio State his favorite team growing up, Eckley added that he would like to remain in the Pac-12. He would also like to remain at the quarterback position at the next level.

"I see myself as a quarterback," Eckley said. "I'm getting better at throws and runs, and I'm increasing my ability to do everything. I think I can handle it. But if any coaches want to put me at any other position, I'm all for it."

Eckley said it took him a few games to adjust to his role as the starting quarterback and leader of the offense, but he adjusted well.

"I had to lead the team and do everything I had to do," he said. "I feel comfortable running and throwing at the same time -- making things happen out of nothing. I feel confident with the deep ball and just getting out on the field and running the offense."