Optimism evident after first practice

There is only so much you can take away from the first fall camp practice of the season, but there was denying the confidence and intensity exhibited during Friday's morning's session. From sprinting station to station, to giving max effort and attention to each rep during practice, Head Coach Todd Graham ensures that every player is involved mentally and physically during the entire practice.

This approach is one that players are very confident will pay dividends once the regular season begins, especially while practicing in sweltering temperatures.

"Practicing during the day in 108 degree weather will give us an advantage [absolutely]" said quarterback Taylor Kelly, "Our opponents will be tired playing games in 95 degree heat during the season, and we will be ready to go."

Linebacker Brandon concurs. "The other teams are going to be real tired," Magee said, "and our defense shouldn't be tired after practicing against our offense all season."

The senior added that the biggest difference between the defense this year and last year is going to be its energy. "If you don't give maximum effort you are not going to see the field at all," Magee stated, "everybody that is on the field is playing at 100%."

There is naturally a fine line between playing at a high tempo and being effective doing so, and running back Cameron Marshall knows that it's imperative to keep that balance.

"Coach wants us to play real fast, and make sure that we make no mistakes", Marshall said. "One of the big differences for the offense this year will be the coaches stressing the importance of knowing the situation on the field and how to act."

"The greatest part of our offense this year will be our situational football, our offense is going to know exactly what to do during every situation", added quarterback Mike Bercovici.


Marshall, who is a senior knows that with all the influx of newcomers and inexperienced players on offense leadership is paramount.

"As a returning starter, I have to do what it takes to keep my starting position and show the new players how to work hard and not to be complacent," Marshall explained. "With all of the young players who will be here for the next three to four years, it is important to show them that example of hard work."

Marshall, who tallied 1,050 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, also believes that he will benefit from the competition at running back and help keep him motivated throughout the season, "I have to be great every day or one of the younger players who is hungry is going to challenge me for my spot," Marshall admitted.


The quarterback battle is one of the main story lines at camp, but the players vying for the starting signal call duties know that the Sun Devil offense can be potent no matter who will be lining up behind center.

"This offense is going to be dominant," Kelly claimed. "We have so many weapons and formations that we can use during each game. We will be able to give different looks every play on offense."

Bercovici believes that the endless hours of off-season preparation will ultimately materialize.

"Our offense really put in a lot of hard work during the summer to come together as a unit and to learn the playbook to be ready for fall practice." Bercovici said. "In fall camp we are expected to run the plays that we learned during the spring and summer. We are expected to know where to go with the ball and to make the correct decision."

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