Q&A with Coach DelVaughn Alexander

The inexperience at wide receiver is naturally worrisome to those who follow ASU football, but DelVaughn Alexander is actually excited to guide this group starting next week in spring practice. Devils Digest sat down with ASU's wide receivers coach to get his assessment of this unit.

DevilsDigest: When looking at your coaching career, you're probably the only assistant coach on staff who doesn't have a direct or an indirect tie with Todd Graham. How did you come across this job at ASU?

DelVaughn Alexander : "In our business you always get calls from other schools, and sometimes before you know it you have to make a decision. I was coaching at Wisconsin, getting ready for the Rose Bowl and the phone starts ringing as it usually does that time of year. You obviously try and stay focused getting ready for your bowl game, but at the same time you don't ignore these calls because you never know."

DevilsDigest: How hard was it leaving a program as prolific program like Wisconsin?

DelVaughn Alexander : "It was really hard. When you get into this profession you develop strong ties with the people that you work with and I spent five years there at Wisconsin. Coming from the West Coast I didn't know what to expect there but myself and my family fell in love with it and they treated us very well there. So it was tough."

DevilsDigest: You were born and raised in Southern California and graduated from USC, so you obviously were very familiar with Arizona State. What was your perception of this program viewing it from afar and now that you are here has it met your expectations?

DelVaughn Alexander : "I knew that Arizona State was going to be a place that is full of talented players and that's what I found here. We have players that aren't only talented, but also want to win a lot of games and be productive. So being here for the short time that I have I'm seeing all the traits that I thought these players would have."

DevilsDigest: How does the high octane philosophy on offense manifest itself specifically with the wide receivers?

DelVaughn Alexander : "We're going to always be running down the field and running back to the line of scrimmage. We have to apply pressure to the defense and if you run 90 plays you will achieve that."

DevilsDigest: This is going to be an offense that will put a lot of emphasis on the run. Therefore, I would have to think that downfield blocking will be paramount at the wide receiver group…

DelVaughn Alexander : "Yes, our receivers were wondering about that and this is a skill and a fundamental that I have been talking a lot about. But I think the downfield blocking is something we need to do for both the run and the pass. We have to be escorts for the guys catching the balls and the players running the football. So this is something that I will put an emphasis on."

DevilsDigest: When you look at the roster of wide receivers the inexperience is quite evident. How would you assess this group?

DelVaughn Alexander : "They wouldn't be here if they weren't capable of playing. You're not always going to be 100 percent right when you're recruiting, but at the same time I know I have some talent here. I feel that I have an advantage because I have a room full of hungry kids that are eager to get on the field and prove to people that they can play. To have that opportunity is exciting for them."

DevilsDigest: You're going to have three wide receivers that were part of the 2012 recruiting class and that will join the team in the summer. Can you give me your evaluation on each of them?

DelVaughn Alexander : "Alonzo Agwuenu is a physical receiver who has great size and great speed. You talk about pass production and bringing that to the forefront and he can do that.

"Josiah Blandin is a player that is going to grow into his role here. Just looking at his talent on tape and physical features you can tell that he has tremendous upside. He hasn't taped into that yet, but he has all the skills you want at the position.

"Richard Smith is a homerun hitter, but coming into the college environment he has to be groomed a little bit. But everytime he touches the ball he can do some special things."

DevilsDigest: Comparing last year's offensive scheme to the system the team will employ this year, there appears to be some overlap in concepts. Do you feel that the transition for the wide receivers won't be as difficult?

DelVaughn Alexander : "There are both a little bit similar. We try not to rewind too much because we want to look forward. We know that we are coaching kids, but at the same time we also know that they will learn and pick up stuff quicker than we think they will. I think they're excited to jump into this offense and learn it."

DevilsDigest: Obviously player accountability is vital for a team's success. At the same time, a production of wide receiver is dependent quite a bit on the quarterback throwing the ball to him. With the inexperience the team has at signal caller, are there any adjustments that will be made in the passing game that will account for that factor and put the wide receivers in a position they can succeed?

DelVaughn Alexander : "I always think that each player has to worry about doing his own job. The wide receiver can only do his job and if he is in the right place and the right time, then hopefully the guy behind the center will do his job so we can have success."

DevilsDigest: You're someone that was brought to the staff because of your West Coast recruiting ties and here at ASU you will have one of the toughest recruiting territories out there in Los Angeles…

DelVaughn Alexander : "It's funny because you can go on all the recruiting websites to try and find all the recruits in L.A. and you just won't see all of them. You have to know the territory, you have to be there on the ground so you can communicate with your contacts and develop strong relationships with the players you're recruiting. Then down the road you hope the tree bears the fruit. It's obviously a heavily recruited area and it's important that I do have ties there, and that is a recruiting territory where I have a lot of connections and it just feels very comfortable recruiting there."

DevilsDigest: As you begin spring practice next week what are some of the goals you will set forth for the wide receivers?

DelVaughn Alexander : "I want to see where they are fundamentally and from there I want to make sure we are fundamentally sound. We also want to get a great feel to what we are doing offensively so we can be the high octane offense we want to be. We want to do all this in a pace that is positive and that we can build on going into fall camp."


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