Entering his senior year, De'Chavon Hayes is getting more opportunities to build on the flashes he showed on defense late in the 2015 season.
Hayes, a 5-foot-11, 190 pound two-way player, was expected to be a major contributor on offense last season in Tempe but it didn't develop as anticipated. Too often, Hayes' assignment soundness wasn't up to par. As a result, he instead found himself working at defensive back in the second half of the season and showing potential.
This spring, Hayes has worked mostly on defense, but still getting reps on offense at times. He said he sees himself as a versatile player who can play any position.
"I'm very comfortable," Hayes said following Friday's practice. "Last year I went in, played some nickel. I was kind of rusty. I'm not going to say I was nervous but I was like, 'oh man,' I had a little jitters. Coming in this year I'm very ready, I just feel it's my time.
"Last week I actually went in with the offense as well. So I'm still going to play offense and defense. It might put a little load on me but I think I can handle it."
ASU head coach Todd Graham said Hayes has handled spring ball effectively and there is promise for his senior season. Hayes has at times worked with the first-team at the field side cornerback position.
Hayes played cornerback in high school before switching to running back in junior college in Pennsylvania. Whether he's able to carve out a significant role on either side of the field in 2016 remains to be determined, but he said his technique and understanding of the schemes has substantially improved.