Q&A with Coach Larry Porter

It's no secret that the running backs corps is the deepest unit on ASU's squad, but how does its position coach view this group? Devils Digest caught up with Larry Porter to get his assessment of this Sun Devil group.

DevilsDigest: In the spring you mentioned that you couldn't wait to work with all the available running backs but at the time you had a number of players missing from action. Now that everyone has arrived and are back to (near) full health, what are your impressions of the running backs as a group?

Larry Porter: "I think everything is coming along well. What I like is the chemistry within the group; they're supporting each other, helping each other, challenging each other and competing. Obviously all of them bring a different skill set from a team and offensive perspective. I think they can all help us, they've just got to solidify their roles as we continue to go through camp."

DevilsDigest: Since the scrimmage was closed to the media on Saturday night, tell us how the running backs performed.

Larry Porter: "Horrible. Horrible. We've got to do a much better job than what we did in this past scrimmage. The bar is set pretty high so there's a lot of work that needs to be done in this week and kind of carve out some of the things to put us in a better position to play better in this weekend's scrimmage."

DevilsDigest: In what areas did the group struggle, specifically?

Larry Porter: "Everywhere. In every area. Every guy has room to improve so that's going to be our focus. We just didn't match the defense's intensity and we've got to do that. We've got to start with that. We've got to bring a high level of toughness and physicality and then we've got to execute."

DevilsDigest: How have the running backs improved since the spring?

Larry Porter: "Well it's hard to say, really, since we didn't have so many of them back in the spring; there was really no bar. The three things that we've got to establish as a mind-set are things that we're trying to lay down as our foundation; discipline, attitude and toughness. With that being said, discipline starts with the little things. Certainly having attention to details. From an attitude standpoint, it's doing whatever it takes. We've got to have a lot of selflessness. And then from a toughness standpoint, we've got to be ready for the challenge and let our toughness and physicality wear out our opponents.

"These have got to be the trademarks of ASU running backs and are things that I'm really pushing for."

DevilsDigest: James Morrison looked like he had a breakout performance in the spring but has been relegated to working out with the tight ends more often this fall. Explain the decision behind moving Morrison.

Larry Porter: "Well, he's back with us some but what we wanted to do was expand his role within our offense and some other areas. So we've done that. But he's with us and he does add to our team."

DevilsDigest: Cameron Marshall looks like he has recovered from his ankle injury and is ready for the season. Discuss the kind of workload you expect him to carry in 2012.

Larry Porter: "Well, we'll give him as much as he can handle. He was actually one of the few players who was productive on offense last Saturday night. He always seems to put himself in position to help this offense."

DevilsDigest: Marion Grice and D.J. Foster are two newcomers that have arrived with high expectations and so far seem to be living up to them. Talk about the impressions they've made on you so far in camp.

Larry Porter: "Well, I can't say that right now because we haven't played a game but you can tell they both have a strong skill set that will allow us to put them in positions to use that versatility and allow our offense to be explosive."

DevilsDigest: How does Deantre Lewis fit into this backfield?

Larry Porter: "Now he's a guy we had in the spring and when you look at where he was in the spring and where he is now, he's made tremendous progress. He's a little banged up and missed a few days. He started out very strong and now he's back with us, so we'll see how he responds."

DevilsDigest: Terrell Davis is most likely going to redshirt this season, but give us an idea of what kind of a player he is.

Larry Porter: "He can be more of a three-back for us. Certainly he's caught our attention doing a lot of things. He's a very quiet young man and I think he has a great future here. We're very glad to have him."

DevilsDigest: What are your thoughts on getting away to Camp Tontozona and escaping the heat for a few days?

Larry Porter: "No, I want heat. I love heat. I want our team to be in position to face adversity and some elements that we can't control and fight through them. I think that's part of growing as a team, so I love the heat. In terms of Camp T, I think that's just as critical in terms of talking about all the components of putting a team together. It's going to allow us to spend a lot of time together and probably get to know each other beyond what we thought we knew."

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