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November 11, 2010

Osweiler to join basketball team

After having it gnaw at him for two-plus years, Brock Osweiler decided the occasional pick-up game wasn't enough to satiate his basketball desires.

So Osweiler approached football coach Dennis Erickson recently to entertain the idea of returning to the court for the Sun Devils once the football season is over.

Erickson didn't stand in the way, cognizant of a promise he made when recruiting the 6-foot-8 quarterback out of Flathead High School in Kalispell, Mont.

A subsequent conversation with basketball coach Herb Sendek sealed the deal, and Osweiler will be the first Sun Devil since former star tight end Todd Heap to be a member of both teams.

"Basically, I have a great passion and a great love for the game of basketball and always have," Osweiler said. "I talked with some of the basketball guys, and I've talked with my family, I've talked with the coaches and it just seemed something like, 'Why not? It's something I feel I can do at a successful level at both sports so I'm going to try it out and see what happens."

As a high school freshman, Osweiler was highly regarded on the hardwood and provided Gonzaga with a verbal commitment to play the sport, which lasted until he decided two years later that football would be his priority. Osweiler played center for his high school team and power forward in AAU basketball.

"I think he just wants to see where he's at," Erickson said Wednesday. "There's no guarantee he's going to make that team, but he wants to go out and try and see where he's at. I don't have a problem with that."

Though he hasn't played in a structured setting since the summer prior to his senior year of high school Osweiler said he is ready to give it a go.

"I've been going in and doing a little bit on my own with the free time I have and to be real, I feel pretty good right now," Osweiler said. "Obviously, I won't know exactly where I'm at until we get into a game-like situation or scrimmage in practice, but so far everything seems cool. I know I've got a lot of work to do but more importantly I'm just focused on the football season. We've got to get three wins in three weeks. So football is the No. 1 priority, it always is going to stay like that but this is something I wanted to try out."

Regardless of playing time, Osweiler pledged Wednesday he will be in it for the season's duration.

"So if that means I end up being a scout team player for the entire season, then I'm going to stick it out and that's what I'm going to do and I'm going to do my best to get those guys playing ready for the game," he said. "If I end up playing solid minutes then that's awesome. That's why you play sports, that's why you compete."

With two years under his belt on the football team and a year of learning coordinator Noel Mazzone's system, Osweiler said he thinks he's ready to make this venture.

"As far as the workload goes, I can't answer that question right now, I don't know what it will be like," Osweiler said. "The biggest reason why I'm making this jump right now is I know what it takes to be a Pac-10 quarterback. I think I kind of have that established. So now that one sport is established, I'm going to venture into trying to take on a second."


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