Post-Game Notes

Several JC recruits visited ASU this weekend, find out who they were. Also in these notes read how some of our seniors and their parents felt about this last home game of the 2001 season, and there they were the "usual suspects" among the NFL teams who have been scouting out some ASU seniors all season long. Find out who's on their wish list.

Prior to the game there were a parade of Junior College prospects on the sidelines. It's no surprise that the bulk of them were defensive linemen. The only local recruit was Matt Mason from Glendale Community College, who lists ASU, along with Washington, and South Carolina as his top 3. He sounded real excited to go on his South Carolina trip and meet coach Lou Holtz. There was a tandem of Sacramento City College defensive linemen at the game. They were Shane Jones and Ishmael Thrower. ASU OL Grayling Love who is redshirting this year, and hails from Sacramento, was their host for the weekend. A blast from the past was former local high school standout Sammy Moore. As you may recall, Moore failed to qualify to ASU a couple of years ago, but we have kept in contact with him through the years. Hopefully it can payoff because our competition for his services is a stiff one. The tall guy with the long dreadlocks that some saw near the ASU bench was QB Isaiah Stanback. He came with fellow Seattle area player Cledious Floyd. The offensive line, like the defensive one, is also in need of some immediate help, and visiting us was Tim Fa'aita from San Francisco City College. Rounding up the list of recruits were two local players who already committed to us: D'Andre Johnson and Nick Johnson.

Three NFL teams that I've seen virtually at all the home games this year were Oakland, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh. Word is that all three are very high on Scott Peters and Levi Jones, so we shouldn't be surprised if they were picked by any of those three clubs. Another team that was scouting was Seattle, which has its sights more on punter Nick Murphy, as do the Miami Dolphins.

Before the game the families of the ASU seniors were on the field being honored for their sons' ASU career. I talked to the Nick Murphy's father, and asked him to reflect on his son's years in Tempe: "Right now our emotions are to kick U of A's butt (smile). But it's also a sad day being the last home game of the season. I saw Nick being focused on the season and taking it one game at a tie. I never saw him talking extensively about life after ASU Football. He was really excited about this season." And how is life as a parent of an ASU player? "It's tough. You sit in the stands and listen to all the criticism from the fans. It doesn't matter if they're criticizing your son or someone else's it still hurts, because you know how hard those kids work everyday in practice."

I talked to a disheveled Levi Jones after the game. The senior just sat motionless in disbelief on the bench and said: "This is the ultimate disappointment. This whole season has been a disappointment." Our interview was cut short when Jones rushed towards midfield when the fight broke out. After the fight dispersed, I briefly talked to another senior, Nick Murphy: "It hurts a lot watching U of A dance on Sparky like that. You just don't think you're last game at home will end like this. It's like I want to stay out here a little longer and want to get the hell off the field at the same time."

Interviews were easier to come by after the players left the locker room. Donnie O'neal had this to say: "It's a tough loss. I'm pleased with my play today, but it's still a tough loss. As far as what happened at the end of the game. I do respect our players for standing up in their house, but the riot was uncalled for. This game isn't just about the Football team. It's about our fans, alums, people like that. We didn't represent them well today…(About his season to date) "I don't think I necessarily had a long stretch of average games in the middle of the season. It's just that Shaun (McDonald) was over shinning me a little bit. I still made my catches here and there. I did the same thing today – when the ball came to me I did the best I could…I don't wish the season was over right now. I wish we won this one and the next one so we could go to a bowl game. I still want to beat UCLA. That's how I feel about the season…(About life after college Football) "It's kinda hard not to think about it, but I have one more game to go. After that, it's full go about that."

Terrell Suggs: "I was walking off the field when I saw them dancing and stomping on Sparky. I was like you already won the game, no need to be disrespectful. I was trying to pull people off of the fight. The coaches were mad as it is, and there was no reason to make them any more upset. I saw my brother Jason Shivers on the ground, and I just needed to get him out of there. I wasn't fighting anybody, just getting people off our players…I think their pass protection was much better than what we saw on film. Their quarterback was three and five stepping a lot, and they line was just running all out – it was hard to stop. They played well, but we just have to play better next year…When we stopped blitzing and played in our base defense, we were able to do a better job. From what we saw on film, we thought we would have success blitzing him (The Arizona QB). On film he was taking 7-8 extra steps when he was in shotgun, and that how we schemed. In the game, he was in shotgun he just stayed there. There some calls we didn't get, and the ball didn't bounce are way, but that's how it goes…I feel so bad for the seniors. This isn't how you're suppose to leave you last home game ever. To lose to your rival, it's real bad. The seniors told us to just get them next year…It's not gonna be hard at all to get up for UCLA. We just put this game behind us, just let it go and let's just play for pride now."

Lamar Baker offered his thoughts: "It was a great experience. I wish we came out with a win, but they played better than us…Bobby Wade is a real competitor. He played great the whole game. We just needed to compete better against him and we didn't…We left a lot of holes for them in the first quarter. So, we plugged the holes in the second half and played them straight up. That's how we got better in the game…I never wished the season was over. The seniors deserved to win today and they didn't. All we can do is practice hard for UCLA and get the seniors a win next week."

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