Graded practices new wrinkle for Ellis Jefferson, ASU wide receivers

Arizona State's practices have always been competitive at the wide receiver position according to Ellis Jefferson, but now there's a more precise way of determining success.

It's easier than ever for Ellis Jefferson and the rest of Arizona State's wide receivers to know how well they're performing relative to one another as well as what's expected of them individually. 

“You’ve got to make sure you have no missed assignments, you’re doing everything right," Jefferson said following Wednesday's practice. "[New wide receivers coach] Jay Norvell, he actually grades us every day and he says if you have an 85 percent or better every day, you’ll be considered a starter in the fall. So that’s what every receiver is trying to get. No missed assignments, none of that. We're doing a really good job of that.

"When we first get in the meetings he'll pass out the papers and we'll see what our grades are and we'll look at each other and be like, 'well, I got a good grade and you didn't get a good grade,' and we'll give each other that little smirk, and we'll know that we need to do better."

Miss an assignment? You can expect to do push ups in the wide receiver position room prior to film study. Drop a ball? Run the wrong depth on a route? Block incorrectly? More push ups. It's a change put in place by Norvell this year to more plainly convey how players are performing. 

“I’ve been above 85 percent a lot of times actually,” Jefferson said. “I’ve had one 84 and that’s when he told us we had to be above 85. So I was real mad about that.”

After hauling in 12 catches for 160 yards in 2015, the 6-foot-5, 213 pound Jefferson is currently working with the first-team at wide receiver as a fourth-year junior.

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