LightFoot Lives Up To Billing

As Football fans, we've all seen it before. A decorated recruit, who is labeled as a "sure thing", falls victim to the lofty expectations that were put on him. The thud of the fall can even be louder, if the failures take place in the player's back yard. If the pre-season play of Daryl Lightfoot is any indication of his ASU career, the Maryvale graduate will be all but a bust playing for his hometown team.

The showering of accomplishments from the media, coaches, and fans haven't changed the humble demeanor of the Arizona high school all-star player. "It's hard to back up all the expectations. Being the hometown boy, I feel like the pressure is on me, because everyone is saying all this stuff about me. I wouldn't mind being an underdog like the other guys, and then proving myself. Maybe that would be better. But now that I proved myself, I feel real good about it. God gave me a natural ability to be fast, and that has help me adjust pretty well to the level of college Football."

Sometimes an athlete's talent can compensate for mishaps in technique or assignments. Case in point – when Lightfoot made a reception for 60 some yards, coach Koetter was quick to point out that the wide receiver lined up wrong and ran the wrong route. What's Daryl's take on this? "Oh man (smile) he (Koetter) teased me about it a lot. I was lined just a little more split (of the formation), and I ran my route two more yards that I should have. I had to do so, because I had to adjust to the defense, but I haven't told him that because he's the coach (smile). It is my ability to take the ball like I did and run with it."

Despite having a great Camp Tontozona, Lightfoot welcomed Tempe and the triple digit temperatures "I enjoy practice here, because you get to go home after it's done. Over there (in Tontozona) we were so secluded; we couldn't wait to get out of there. Here we get to see parents and friends after practice. Up there it was no-mans land." When Donnie O'neal suffered an injury in the Tontozona scrimmage, it opened the door for the true freshmen to work more with the first team. During Tontozona, Daryl enjoyed playing special teams: "I'm battling for punt and kick returner. Coach Osborne is teaching me techniques that no one taught me in high school. I just want to get my hands on the ball, and I'll know what to do with it." Off the field, Lightfoot is enjoying what the Arizona State campus has to offer: "School is going great. Lots of girls. I got say something about the girls (smile). I'm staying out of trouble with them tough. My classes are cool, but I like the girls. (smile)"

When asked how he would feel if he scored a touchdown in his first ASU game, the wide receiver answers in modest fashion: "I'm just gonna worry about making that first catch. After I catch it, I'll see what I would do with it. If I did take it to the house in the first game, I'll be real happy about that." As far as his feelings about his debut on September 8th he says: "Yeah, I'm pretty nervous, but I know I'll be ready" With his dazzling athletic skills, and ability to back up the soaring expectations put on him, few would doubt that Lightfoot won't be ready for his Sun Devil debut. The question is are ASU's opponents ready for him…?

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