Davon Coleman stated that the aforementioned compliment by his coach gives him an opportunity to be a leader.
"It feels good to get recognized by Coach Graham," Coleman said. "I can show my younger teammates how to work hard and how hard work pays off. I can be a leader and make sure to lead us the right way on and off the field."
Coleman clearly showed his new effort to lead during the newcomer practices by being a very positive leader on the field and hustling during every play. After all, the defensive lineman believes that one shouldn't be complacent and he is no exception to theory.
"I am always going to underrate myself," Coleman admitted, "because there is always room to improve. But based on fall practice I would say I am about an 8 out of 10 towards reaching my full ability, [so] I still have a couple more levels to go."
Coming off his first year with the Sun Devils where he had 2 ½ sacks and only three starts, Coleman fell short of many fans' expectations, including his own. The Junior believes that the aggressiveness of Coach Graham's defensive strategy will play to his strengths and will allow him to have a breakout year.
Case in point, today out of the defensive end position in the 4-3 alignment Coleman showed great explosiveness and tenacity getting off the line of scrimmage.
"I really like Coach Graham's system," Coleman noted. "There is a lot of blitzing and that can free me up to rush the passer. It's a real explosive and aggressive defense and I like that a lot. I feel really comfortable, and whether it is rushing off the edge in the 4-3, or blitzing while in the 3-4 formation, I have a lot of confidence."
Coleman realizes that he had to work hard during the summer to become the improved player he is today, not only physically but mentally as well.
"I had a set of goals for myself, Coleman described, "and had to develop better character and a better attitude overall. I am trying to become the player that he wants and expects, [and] I believe I am getting there."
The defensive lineman believes that the changes that he has undergone will help him much beyond the football field.
"These changes will definitely help me in life," Coleman claimed. "Good character has to be present in anything that you do in life. I am trying to be a giving person that is always beneficial to our society."
Coleman has lofty goals for the defense this year and expects them to live up to his expectations. Just as he proved the naysayers wrong considering his prospects, he believes the defense has a whole can defy the gloom predictions that have been offered by pundits.
"The sky is the limit," Coleman said. "With players like Junior [Onyeali] and Brandon [Magee] we are going to be moving out on the field. All of the hard work that we are putting in on the practice field is going to pay off. We are a real good team and our tempo has been nice, we are really coming together."