Spring Practice Offers a Mixed Bag of Goods

ASU coach Dirk Koetter says that the beginning of contact drills started racking up various injuries for his team, but also allows those healthier players to make their mark.

"We got a lot of good work in so far." Says Koetter, "There are many highlights, and also some low-lights. Unfortunately, we have some of our guys nicked up. Nick Elliot, one of our corners, probably tore his ACL in a non-contact drill. Joey Smith dinged the same shoulder as he did last spring, and should be here with an orange jersey. That's one of the negatives of spring ball, when you start to have contact you'll get guys dinged up." Koetter also mentioned some minor nagging injuries in the secondary to Matt Fawley, Brett Hudson, and R.J. Oliver. As a result players like Emmanuel Franklin, Mike Davis, and Josh Golden are getting longer looks and "All did some positive things."

Loren Wade and Randy Hill, who are coming off redshirt years, are given ample opportunity to strut their skills at running back. As a result, the ASU coach is pleased with their progress. "The more looks we get at our young tailbacks, the more excited we are to see them at a scrimmage situation." Koetter has been also pleased with his wide receivers. "I think Daryl Lightfoot had his best practice since he's been at Arizona State, as far as doing things right. Terry Richardson continues to get better, and got a lot of reps because Matt Miller was missing on Saturday (for his sister's wedding)."

After having a few practices under his belt, Koetter doesn't believe that one side of the ball is playing significantly better than the other. "Having the new linebackers has made it a little easier on the offense. Our defense is also not blitzing that much right now. So, I think our offense may have a false sense of security that everything is OK. Gradually this week, the defense will add more and more blitzes, and on Saturday they'll probably be blitzing maniacs (smile)…but at quarterback when you have Andrew Walter back and all five starters on the line, you always give yourself a chance."

Overall, after the first week of spring practice Koetter is pleased with his squad's performance. "I like the progress we're making. It's never perfect in spring ball, because you're playing yourself so somebody always looses. But we're way ahead from a schematic standpoint. Now I want us to focus on the small fundamentals in the drills, that takes to be a good football team."

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