Coach Koetter is happy with the talent on his team, but even happier with their overall physical health. "We have nothing serious injury wise – nothing that's gonna be more than a couple of weeks. You always want to come out of two-a-days as healthy as you can…we have a lot of playmakers on this team. I like the attitude of this team…anxious to start preparing for NAU."
The scrimmage marked the end of Koetter's third stay up in the pines of Camp Tontozona, and is very appreciative of what it offers, as well as its history. "I love Camp T. Coach Kush was on to something, he was ahead of his time (smile). It's a beautiful spot; it's great to get out of the heat. We did have some rain issues. But it was nothing more than an inconvenience."
The receivers group as a whole may have been a question mark in the minds of some college football pundits. The ASU skipper hopes that their collective performance on Saturday answered those who were seeking answers. "I've been asked ten million times how we'll replace Shaun McDonald, and I think our overall depth today really showed up. Daryl Lightfoot didn't really get a chance to make a lot of plays, but he had a great camp. Skyler Fulton showed up as always. But our younger guys Moey Mutz, Terry Richardson, Rudy Burgess, Stephen Bissnet, guys you don't talk about…those guys made some plays."
In this scrimmage, Quarterback Andrew Walter may not have put up the gaudy numbers fans have been accustomed to last year. Nevertheless, this doesn't dampen his spirits or overall feeling about what transpired the last ten or so days. "I feel fine about camp. Our defense is smart and they know what we're doing. It's not like we're gonna fool them. When they know what we do every day, that's the way they'll play. Once we get a defense that isn't exactly sure what we'll do every formation, I'll feel real good about it…I thought it was a fine scrimmage. I wasn't going for three touchdowns. So it doesn't mean that it was a bad scrimmage (for Walter). We tried to throw short. We didn't take that many shots down the field."
Another objective of the offensive plan today was to establish a running game. The signal caller was very pleased with that aspect. "We tried to run the ball a lot. Mike Williams hit the holes hard, slammed some people, and made other people miss. He ran great. We'll have great depth – too bad they can't all run all at the same time." As far as overall goals for the offense, the junior specified the following: "Just installation. Making sure people are on rhythm, get the running game going, timing in the passing game. We did all that, and accomplish all of our goals."
While Walter enjoyed Camp T, he admits that there's no place like home. "Everybody is happy it's over, and that they can go to their own beds. They don't have to sleep in dirt, and shower in showers that don't work. It will be nice to get back home where everybody is comfortable."
Senior Mike Williams came into the pre-season as the starting running back, and that status will not change when the team starts its 2003 season. Nevertheless, Williams is anything but complacent. "I always have to work on staying the starter. I need to work harder than the day before running the ball. Once I keep doing that we'll produce a lot of numbers on offense." Saturday was the last day Williams will probably ever spend in camp Tontozona, and listening to him one gets a feeling that it was a truly enjoyable experience for him. "The most successful thing is that we stayed healthy at the end of camp. Coming out everyday competing with your teammates is fun and games. You just gotta love the atmosphere here. But now we go down the hill and we need to start taking care of business."
Williams realizes that his unit will be under close scrutiny, but is confident that the team's ground attack this year will turn boos into cheers. "Hopefully the fans will have nothing to complain about us because we'll be successful."
During Camp T, senior Skyler Fulton showcased his outstanding receiving skills. He soon may get the nickname ‘Velcro' because when a ball is thrown his way, it just sticks to his gloves. The senior does admit that he had a successful pre-season so far. "I think Camp T went real well for me. We had a good time up here, and we got a lot of stuff done. We're ready to get started."
Fulton is the ultimate team player, and that never becomes more evident as when he describes the goals that he put forward prior to camp. "Basically, I wanted to help these young guys on offense, and set the tempo at practice – I'm the only senior here. I think I did a pretty good job. Those guys are like my brothers. If there's anything I can do to help them to take it to the next level or make them better people, that's something I'll try to do. Because without them I can't do anything." Fulton is very pleased with his unit's teammates, saying that lack of publicity hasn't translated into lack of talent. "This is the deepest group of receivers that we have had since I've been there. Some of those guys that don't get much attention are quality players."
The senior, who once took a year off football to try and ignite an aspiring baseball career says that his focus is on the pigskin, but America's pastime is never too far from his mind. "I don't know. I'm just taking it one day at a time. That's definitely something I think about, but right now I'm playing football."
Even after a great showing by the ASU wideouts, some skeptics may still take the ‘wait and see' attitude. Fulton states that carrying a chip on his shoulder, trying to prove naysayers wrong doesn't suit his style anymore. "I really don't worry about people say. When I was younger, it used to bother me, and maybe motivate me. But right now I'm at a point where I'm at peace with myself. I'm out there to prove things to myself, not others."
Camp Tontozona Scrimmage Quotes
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