Lightfoot Puts Behind A Year That 'Sucked'

When the explosive wide receiver from local Maryvale High School committed to the Sun Devils, it was a dream come true for the player and the ASU fans. Once the 2001 season started, the nightmare began for the true freshman. With his Mother passing away, while constantly battling through injuries, Lightfoot has had an unfair share of on and off the field adversity. In this interview, the wide receiver talks about these issues and his outlook for a fresh start this year.

DevilsDigest: Daryl, if you had to describe last year in one word, what word would you use?

Daryl Lightfoot: Sucked (smile)

DD: How were you able to deal with all the adversity on and off the field?

DL: I didn't deal with it that good. I wasn't used to getting hurt like this. I never got hurt in high school. When I first got hurt, I thought I could just fight through it. But then I had the nagging injuries that just kept coming back at me.

DD: Have you worked hard in the team's conditioning program to be more durable?

DL: I feel that I did get stronger in the conditioning program. I wasn't able to work as much as the other guys because of my Mom. I'm not 100% where I need to be, but I'll get there.

DD: What's your outlook for this year? Do you see your battle for the #2 wide receiver spot wide open?

DL: It's pretty wide open. You have to compete hard very day. Tap (Taplin) he's pretty much the #2 receiver right now, and we're trying to pretty much play behind him. We just can't knock him out. He's a senior. He knows what he's doing right now.

DD: How much importance do you put on being a #2 receiver? After all, Koetter's offense is wide open, and the ball is distributed among many targets.

DL: If you're in the top 3-4 receivers, you'll get your share of catching balls. Like you said, he throws to a lot of different players.

DD: How about your role on special teams? Will you be returning punts again, or maybe some other stuff?

DL: I'm trying to be the kick returner (smile). I really like to do it. I'll be on the kick off coverage team, so I think my role will expand a little bit.

DD: I know you and Hakim Hill are very close, and both of you had different issues to deal with all year. Did you guys find yourselves cheering up each other?

DL: We looked to each other for comfort. He was there for me when my mom passed away. He went to the funeral and everything. But now everything is looking OK for both of us. We can concentrate on playing Football.

DD: What did your late Mom mean to you and your career?

DL: She meant a lot to me. She instilled a lot in me, and taught me right from wrong. Being 19 years old and alone in college is kinda tough, but I have to deal with it because she would want me to be here and be on the right path.

DD: How are you're managing to deal with this terrible loss?

DL: The team has been my extended family, especially coach Koetter. He's been there for me, and he offered me any help I need. It helps a lot that I have a kid. When I get lonely missing my mom, I can look at my daughter, and say to myself that's one of the reasons I'm here.

DD: Lastly, what are your expectations from spring practice?

DL: I'm trying to come out here with a defined role, and know where I'm gonna be in camp T.

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