Hollyfield Takes Businesslike Approach

It may be his personality, or just the pragmatic mentality of a player who spends his time on the field fighting in the trenches. Defensive lineman Dewayne Hollyfield leads the Sun Devils in sacks, despite playing in only two out of the four games this season. Yet, the odds of seeing him patting himself on the back, are as likely as a 70-degree temperature at kickoff this Saturday against USC. When he talked with Devils Digest, it was hard not to be impressed by his humility and perseverance.

"I just go out there, play hard, and take what they give me," said the 6-4 273 Dewayne Hollyfield over his three-sack performance against Oregon State last Saturday. "I'm satisfied because I know I went out there and gave a lot of effort, and didn't stop until they blew the whistle."

Due to academic reasons, the senior who transferred from Harbor Community College, had to miss Arizona State's first two games of the 2005 season. He played well against Northwestern, and obviously made his presence felt last weekend. "I was so hungry to play ball," he remarked. "I worked so hard in the off-season, and then not to play…I was real hungry. What happened to me was an eye-opener. When there's no football, you don't know what to do, and you feel lost. Now I know I have to keep everything straight and keep on playing."

The lineman was one of the best defensive players in fall camp, and much like most junior college transfers was light years ahead of his first season of Division I football. "I didn't know what I was doing and I was just going through the motions," Hollyfield said about his first year. "I studied the playbook a lot, and really got to learn the whole defense and what I need to do on defense. That helped me go out and play well because now I know what I'm doing."

It's probably hard not to get over hyped for this week's showdown with the Trojans, but once again Hollyfield takes the sensible approach. "We're trying keep our routine," he stated. "We know USC is a great team and real talented, but we're gonna go out there and play our game. We need to fly to the ball, attack the line of scrimmage, and don't let any running backs come through. We have to come up big on defense and give good effort."

"They're real physical and athletic, and we just have to be physical and athletic too," Hollyfield continued. "We have to know our assignments, stay disciplined, and trust our defense. We have to communicate very well, and just go out there and play ball."

Hollyfield was recognized for his efforts against the Beavers, and was named captain for this week's game. Not that he needed anymore motivation for Saturday, but this move increased an already large burning flame underneath him. "It's a big game and me being from Southern California is a big plus. Being a captain just makes me want to go out there and play harder." While he does have friends back home who root for the hometown Trojans, he's not one to exchange friendly jabs. "I'm not really the smack talker. I let me game do the talking."

Oregon State heard Hollyfield loud and clear last Saturday. Time will tell if this week USC will too…

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