Koebensky settling into starting role

Being a first-year starter, it would be easy for Kody Koebensky to let proven veterans like Evan Finkenberg and Andrew Sampson lead the offensive line. As a center though, the junior knows his role hardly absolves him from being a leader on offense.

"I don't try to step on anyone's toes," Kobensky remarked, "but I am definitely the one that's out there talking all the time. I do try to be a vocal leader. Andrew [Sampson] and Evan [Finkenberg] are great leaders, but I try to help them lead too."

Kody Koebensky made sure to put extra work in this summer's strength and conditioning program to prepare himself for the season and the high octane offense being implemented this year.

"Over the summer I was in the weight room a lot, trying to get stronger," Kobensky commented. "I was trying to do a lot of extra things with [strength] Coach O (Tony Ollison), Coach (Josh) Storms as well as Coach (Shawn) Griswold. I was trying to watch more film this summer as well, and just try to get to the weight room as much as possible."

Does he feel as if this work has been playing off in camp?

"Personally, I believe I can always get better," Kobensky replied, "I am never good enough. I'm not perfect, and I am striving to be perfect, I can always get better."

Even with only two returning starters on the offensive line this year, Koebensky sees this group having the necessary chemistry and added that their season outlook hasn't been tempered due to the relative inexperience of this unit.

"Our expectation as a group is to not allow a sack and for our offense to have no less than 200 rushing yards a game," Kobensky described. "We want Cameron [Marshall], [Marion] Grice, and [DJ] Foster all over 1,000 yards [rushing], and we want them to break records. That's our goal."

The center added that it didn't take long for the front five to be cohesive.

"We are all very close," Kobensky commented. "We spend a lot of time together outside of football, whether it's in the film room or at Evan's [Finkenberg] or my house. We are definitely jelling as a group."

While much has been said about the new high tempo offense the Sun Devils will run this season, the junior feels that the elements of aggressiveness and creativity actually will be the most notable differences for Sun Devil fans.

"We are going to focus a lot more on power this year," Kobensky explained, "[so] we are going to run a lot more power downhill plays right at them. We are going to run more misdirection plays.

"Last year we ran a lot of zone plays, and we will have those as well this year, but we will be throwing the defense a lot more changeups this year."

Kobensky acknowledges that practicing at the high tempo that Head Coach Todd Graham and Offensive Line Coach Bob Connelly demand is difficult, but believes that this cadence will help every player improve.

"Coach Graham and Coach Connelly have got us running around and getting us used to the tempo where we need to be at for games," Kobensky stated. "I like where we are at but we need to continue to get better.

"Coach Connelly has done a great job preparing us. He has taught us a lot, [both] skill wise and technique wise. He's tough, but he always treats us with respect. He's done a great job getting us ready, He's a great O-line coach."

While an effective offensive line is crucial for any success this side of the ball will have for ASU, the play of the Sun Devil quarterbacks, who are still engaged in a tight three-way battle, is an element that is getting a lot of publicity and certainly the number one topic of discussion among fans.

However, when you ask Kobensky about this burning topic he doesn't seem too concerned which signal caller he will ultimately be snapping to.

"It's up to Coach Graham and [offensive coordinator] Coach Norvell," Kobensky said. "We are leaving that decision to them. Whoever they choose, I trust in their decision."

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