Camp T's Scrimmage Report

Daryl Lightfoot and Hakim Hill are probably the most nationally heralded freshmen on ASU's Football team. Their strong friendship, which was formed on a recruiting trip to Nebraska, brought both of them to Tempe. In camp Tontozona ‘s scrimmage, both of this comrades stole the show from their fellow veteran teammates. Their performance in today's scrimmage provided a very encouraging glimpse into the future of the Sun Devils.

It must have been sweet vindication for Hill, who has some off the field legal matters, to have some positive publicity on his side. With the absence of fellow running backs Tom Pace and Delvon Flowers, Hill answered the call and electrified the crowd at camp Tontozona with a 46-yard rushing touchdown, and a 26-yard receiving score. None cheered louder than his older brother Shelby who was running with the younger hill step by step on the sidelines during those two scoring runs. The running back from Iowa City displayed a great combination of speed and power, which helped him barrel over defenders. The only disappointment concerning Hill is the fact that fans will have to wait to witness his play until the 2002 season, since he will redshirt.

For Daryl Lightfoot, his play today was a logical extension of the newcomer practices last week. Ever since his first ever ASU practice, even the most novice of Football fans couldn't overlook the speed and quickness of the Maryvale wide receiver. "Sake ‘n Bake" may be fellow freshman's Lamar Baker's nickname, but the agile Lightfoot is more than worthy of that nickname. One of his two receptions was a 60+ yarder that where this freshman phenom buzzed by defenders faking them left and right. He also dazzled with a very long punt return, which will also be remembered by the person who first tried to tackle him – Donnie O'neal. O'neal, who is also the team's start wide receiver, will be out approximately 10 days with a shoulder injury.

Other than that dynamic duo, others who played well were quarterback Jeff Krohn, who passed for 130 yards on 7 from 11. The sophomore is solidifying his starting spot every passing day, with Matt Cooper and Andrew Walter battling for the back up spot. Today was a reversal of fortunate for those two. Cooper, who looked well all week, had a poor showing, while Walter redeemed himself today with a solid showing. Running backs Mike Williams and Derick Arnold has some nice runs, with Williams scoring a 2-yard touchdown. Skyler Fulton's performance was second only to Lightfoot in the receiving duties. Tight end Frank Maddox showed good hands on one catch for long yards, but later blew an opportunity for another long play.

Despite the outstanding performances by Hill and Lightfoot on offense, the defense continued the camp's theme of dominance. It recorded six sacks, two forced fumbles, a and a lone interception that was returned for a touchdown by defensive tackle Kurt Wallin. The front six was applying constant pressure on the offensive line, which caused many disruption to the various quarterbacks in the game. The cornerbacks showed their inexperience by committing numerous pass interference calls. Since the game was officiated by a Pac-10 crew, this group should be able to quickly learn what it can get away with or not when defending a receiver. Nevertheless, R.J. Oliver and O.J. Hackett had some nice pass breakups aside from their penalties. Adrian Thomas continued his solid camp with a good showing today, and is moving up the depth chart quite rapidly.

Head coach Dirk Koetter may have disallowed freshmen pranks, but Hakim Hill and Daryl Lightfoot were the ones having their way this morning. However, the offense has a whole still showed it a ways to go until it can be described as a typical high-octane Dirk Koetter offense. Three weeks stand between the team and its first game of the season, and in that time the offense would have to improve if the team is to have a considerably better year than last season's 6-6 record.

Notable Stats:

Verdon Pass deflection
Unck sack of Cooper
Kirkwood sack of Walter, forced fumble
Daniel sack of Copper, forced fumble
Wallin intercepted Cooper for a TD
Masianni sack of Krohn
Faulkner pass deflection
Montesanto Sack of Cooper
Howard sack of Krohn

Arnold 7 rushes for 23 yards
Hill 6-69 1 TD
M. Williams 4-14 1 TD

Krohn 7-11 passing for 130 yards
Cooper 5-14 63
Walter 4-5 68 1 TD
Christensen 2-6 74

Fulton 5 catches for 53 yards
Dennard 2 40
Lightfoot 2-75
Maddox 1-35
Hill 1-26 1 TD

Here's what coach Koetter and his players had to say about camp and today's scrimmage:

Coach Koetter:

"Camp T is over! Number 1 is done and in the books. First of many I hope. What an awesome turnout by the fans. I know the players appreciate that. What a great way to cap off our week. We got a ton of work done. We have a long way to go. Our progress in excellent. Both sides of the ball had some good plays and some not good plays. The offense is still playing catch-up to the defense. We didn't have our top two tailbacks play today, but I thought that the other running backs did a great job step to the plate. O'Neal's injury took the wind of our sails a little bit. Things are progressing on track. Looking forward to getting home and sleeping in my own bed, and getting ready for San Diego State…We're not going to say anything about the quarterback situation until we had some time to evaluate our film and notes from camp. I said all along that our talent at quarterback is fine. The quarterback thing will work itself out. You guys don't excited when we switch left guards, so don't be excited about who plays quarterback (smile). We switched left guard 17 times today, and nobody asked me about that (smile)…We weren't very crisp, we have been crisper. We didn't run our no-huddle very well, and that's something that we practice very day. We did set the tone on defense. You have to remember that we had 11 practices in six days, and the human body isn't built to take that much pounding. We have heavy legs right now and we're all tired, but it will come back to us…The offense despite being behind had some great plays and great individual efforts. The name that obviously jumps right at you is Hakim Hill. He had some great plays, and that's why we recruited him – for his big play ability. I thought all the other tailbacks have been very good yesterday and today. We're very deep at tailback, I've been saying that all along, as well as wide receiver, but we can't afford to keep on losing guys…You got to love Daryl Lightfoot. On his big reception he lines up wrong, ran the wrong route, and all he did is catch it and go 70 yards. It's great to have talent (smile)…Fulton has had a great camp. He probably has improved the most out of all the receivers. It doesn't seem like he moves that fast, but somehow he always gets open. He did blow some assignments today, but that's what's great playing wit a crowd. You get nervous, and you have to learn to deal with it. Hec, I was nervous today. But it's good to play in front of a crowd, and thanks to the fans again."

Defensive End Terrell Suggs:

"We're not where we need to be, but we have three weeks to get there. I think that once we decide to come together with the schemes and everything we will be just fine…We had a big slogan of commit or quit when the new coaches got here. We just all decided to jump in the boat and run with it. It started with everybody being here in the summer in the conditioning program. That's what we're going to be this year, one big united family on offense and defense…My personal performance wasn't the greatest today. I always said that everyday I go against the best tackle in the west (Levi Jones) in practice, so I'm gonna have days like this. But I'm also gonna have better days, and both of us will get better together…Jimmy Verdon has really stepped up in camp, and maybe he'll be the guy replacing Ben Fox. He knows the schemes, and is just having fun out there. We're gonna miss Ben Fox. I'm going to put his number on my shoe with wounded solider in quotation marks… I know it's hot back in the valley, but my mama is down there with the A/C and some chicken, and I'm ready to get back Home (smile)

Kicker Mike Barth:

"I think it was really good camp, and we got a lot of work done. We didn't have any practices canceled because of rain like last year, so that was good. Overall, special teams did real well. Too bad we had a lot of injuries, but I guess the good news is that most of those players will be back in time for San Diego State…I think I kicked really good and missed only two field goals all week. So this is the best camp I ever had, and I'm real confident out there…Between now and San Diego State, I just want to get a better rhythm with the field goal team, and work on my consistency. I want to keep my confidence up, and be the best kicker in the Pac-10 this year.

Quarterback Jeff Krohn:

"If today's any indication, then I would say that it does look like I'm the starting quarterback. I know there will still be competition because our coaches want us to be better and improve. You do want to earn your spot, and know that you beat out some good competition. I'd rather have competition, than just have something handed to me. I did get a lot of first team reps during camp, so you make of it what you want (smile)…O'neal knows all his stuff. So he can take his time and rest and recuperate. But he's a big part of our offense, and we definitely need him…It's real fun throwing to somebody like Daryl Lightfoot. Once he really gets the offense down, he's going to be real fun to watch.

Running back Hakim Hill:

"The offensive line did a great job for me. They opened up some great holes for me. All I had to do is run. I just thank god I had an opportunity to go out there and play and show what I have…Delvon Flowers is the man. I don't question his ability one bit. I think he'll be all Pac-10. We knew that as back up running backs we had to step up today. Our motto was ball out until you fall out. I think we did a good job of that…That legal stuff is behind me. I'm a Football player at ASU. Back there is back there, and I'm not thinking about it."

Cornerback R.J. Oliver:

"I know we had a lot of pass interference penalties, but we're young. We need to focus and when we do we'll do a better job not being flagged…A lot of people may doubt how well we're going to do, but we don't feel that we have to prove ourselves. We just have to go out there and do our jobs. We know the Pac-10 loves to pass, and it's the best conference in the country. We just have to take care of business…I don't know if I'm a starter yet. The coaches will have to decide that (smile)."

Center Scott Peters:

"I think personally I started out pretty bad, and I was very disappointed. I just didn't have my technique down, but as camp progressed I was doing better. I think the offensive line really came a long way in camp T. In spring ball, a lot of the starters including myself were out with injuries, but in one week w came a long way…I don't know if the starting five linemen is solidified yet. I know our coach is moving players around…I think at times we're doing a good job blocking for the pass or run, but sometimes we're not. We're clearly not at our best yet. I wouldn't be comfortable starting the season today, but we luckily we have time to improve."

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