Kody Kohl an emerging offensive weapon for Arizona State


Running down the names on the offensive side of the ball for the Arizona State Sun Devils, there are obviously a few that immediately come to mind as difference makers. It starts under center, with Mike Bercovici, and carries over to the weapons like Demario Richard and D.J. Foster. Quickly joining the ranks of ASU’s impact players on offense, though, is tight end Kody Kohl.

The Sun Devils haven’t had a legitimate presence at the tight end position since the departure of Chris Coyle after the 2013 season. While that doesn’t seem like a significant amount of time, it’s been a notable absence. If Kody Kohl continues on his current path, though, we could be looking at the next big thing at that spot on the ASU offense.

Kohl had a big night against the Colorado Buffaloes over the weekend, in several respects. He found the endzone twice, though the first score of the night was in rather unorthodox fashion. Kohl took a fumble from Demario Richard that ended up going forward and carried it 28 yards to open the scoring for the Sun Devils. He later caught a pass from the arm of Bercovici as well to give him the pair of scores on the night. It was the latest chapter in what is the slowly emerging story of Kody Kohl: Offensive Weapon.

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While referring to him as a true “weapon” might be overstating his impact to this point, Kohl’s overall numbers on the season are solid, if unspectacular. He has 19 receptions to this point, a total which ranks fourth on the team, for 211 yards, and a trio of touchdowns. His three scores rank second on the team among receivers. Not bad for a guy whose career line featured just 16 receptions, 167 yards, and four touchdowns all of last season.

Nobody is ready to declare Kohl as an offensive catalyst for this group quite yet, or any sort of premium tight end prospect at the next level. However, his emergence in the offense could end up being a tremendous asset for Bercovici and the Devils as the season wears on.

With the departure of Jaelen Strong, Arizona State has lacked that sure-handed option downfield, particularly between the hashes. Tim White has become a guy as a speed threat down the sidelines and the likes of D.J. Foster is capable of turning shorter passes into longer gains. But no combination has been able to soften the blow of Strong’s departure. That could change with Kohl’s emergence, though.

While no one is going to completely replace or replicate what Strong brought to ASU football in his years as a receiver, a big target down the middle of the field could really open things up for Mike Bercovici and the passing game. We here at Devils in Detail have been clamoring for such a thing to happen, where Bercovici isn’t limited by playcalling and a scheme that limits his powerful arm. If Kohl can continue to serve as a reliable presence, it’d go a long way towards helping this ASU offense, Bercovici in particular, reach its true potential.

Randy Holt is the managing editor for Devils in Detail. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.