Graham: Sun Devils getting healthier

Running backs Kalen Ballage and De'Chavon Hayes will play Saturday, as will Ami Latu, and Devin Lucien has a good chance to play as well according to Todd Graham.

After missing the first three weeks of Arizona State's season with mono, sophomore running back Kalen Ballage is expected to play Saturday against USC.

"He looked a lot better than he did last week," Graham said. "He's good to go so he'll play."

Ballage, 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, was expected to share reps in the backfield with sophomore starter Demario Richard at the outside of the season after being the player Graham termed ASU's most improved player on offense in the offseason.

Graham also said that junior De'Chavon Hayes, a junior running back who often plays in the slot, will play against the Trojans. Hayes missed last week's game against New Mexico after suffered a left hamstring strain in the first half of ASU's win over Cal Poly.

Junior defensive tackle Ami Latu, who has been a starter dating to last season, is also expected to play Saturday after missing New Mexico with a left ankle sprain, Graham said. Latu has formed a three-player rotation at defensive tackle along with senior Demetrius Cherry and sophomore Tashon Smallwood.

A day after he said senior wide receiver Devin Lucien was doubtful for USC with a left hamstring injury, Graham said Tuesday that Lucien has made strides and may be on the field Saturday.

"Devin, he took some reps today so it looks like he'll be able to play," Graham said.

The only injured starter who may not play according to Graham is sophomore safety Armand Perry, who is still on crutches with a left ankle sprain.

But there is another member of the two-deep who is a new addition to the list of players who won't play this week. Graham brought up sophomore Spur Marcus Ball on his own after practice with reporters.

"Shout out to Marcus Ball, we want him to get well soon," Graham said.

Ball was out an extended period of time last year with an undisclosed illness. ASU is looking at playing sophomore safety James Johnson behind starting junior Laiu Moeakiola at the position.

"James we feel like like is one of our better football players he just happens to play the same positions as Jordan and Laiu. So we're going to play him more at that Spur position and see if we can get him more reps and in nickel at the adjuster."


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