Introducing the 2006 Class: Troy Nolan

Whether a player is a true freshman or a JC transfer, newcomers usually keep a low profile once they arrive. Then again, you have Troy Nolan. The safety has been a leader since the day he enrolled in school, namely during the off-season workouts. Nolan told Devils Digest that his attitude and work ethic were acquired back in his junior college days.

"I blame that on my JC (smile)," said the 6-1 196 Troy Nolan who came to ASU from the College of the Canyons Junior College. "That's a good program we came from. It's not that hard running and lifting, it's all mental. Our JC coaches helped us get through that, and now at ASU I help out other players to get through that and I motivate them."

Unfortunately, these days the safety is trying to work through his own adversity. Nolan injured his knee last week, underwent surgery on Tuesday, and will miss the rest of spring practice. "I'm all right," he claimed. "I tore the meniscus in practice. I'm gonna get my knee scoped and I'll be alright for camp. I'm out just four weeks. I'm disappointed, but it's a minor thing."

College of the Canyons has been one of the premier junior college programs in the country the last two years. The Cougars were crowned the 2004 JC Grid-Wire National Champions, and last year made it all the way to the Southern California Junior College championship game, where they lost to Grossmont. Nolan was noticed by many schools early on, and ironically his ultimate school of choice was one of the last ones to offer him a scholarship. "Arizona State came to watch me four games into my sophomore year," he recalled. "They came in late, but the first game that (ASU's safeties coach) Coach Fidler watched he told my coach at halftime that he was gonna offer me a scholarship."

Nevada, Oregon State, Texas A&M ,Mississippi State, San Diego State, are among some of the schools that had offered Nolan. However, showcasing his talents in a certain conference clearly gave the Sun Devils an edge. "Playing in the Pac-10 really sold me," he admitted, "because I would play anywhere in the Pac-10. Well, maybe not anywhere, because I like the heat more than the cold weather. I really liked Coach Fidler from the beginning, and my family got along with him real well. I really like Arizona State and it didn't matter that they were one of the last schools to offer me."

Success can often breed pressure. Thus, College of Canyons could definitely present that challenge based on their accomplishments. Nevertheless, Nolan offers a different perspective on that issue. "It was lots of fun," he stated. "We knew we were gonna win every game, we had that swagger about ourselves. We never felt pressure. As a team, each player knew what he had to do to have us win. Maybe I felt pressure when I got injured in spring ball and came back just before my sophomore season. It was just pressure to get healthy."

The aforementioned off-season workouts Nolan went through with the Cougars, has been a significant aspect in his success, as well as the team's. "It made the transition to Arizona State easier," he explained. "Our workouts were like for D-I schools. Lifting weights and everything was mandatory. We worked out all year. So, when I came here to Arizona State, working out in the off-season wasn't new to me or anything like that."

The safety had a solid sophomore season, where he recorded 55 tackles and four interceptions. "I need to work on my speed and breaking to the ball," Nolan said as he self-assessed his skills. "My strong points are backpedaling, tackling, and just being physical." He acknowledged the fact that his injury will impact his progress in spring practice, and that he would probably have to "start from scratch" when Camp Tontozona begins in August.

Up until the injury, Nolan felt good about his first ever spring practice with the maroon and gold. "It has been great," he commented. "It's been an adjustment and a big transition, because playing at this level takes a lot of time of your day. I'm learning slowly but surely. It really helps that Coach Fidler recruited me and now he's my position coach. You already have a relationship so that helps the transition. I feel very comfortable."

Off the field, the new surroundings are agreeing with Nolan, despite an unpleasant incident. "Everything has been cool," he said. "I'm a people person, so it's fun for me just hanging out with the guys and stuff like that. There have been some rough moments, like the time my bike got stolen in front of the ICA building, but it's all good."

Trying to fit in as a newcomer is rarely a smooth process. Adjustments are the name of the game, and dealing with those challenges requires the correct mindset. Judging by Nolan's words, one can fairly assume that he will ultimately succeed. "I'm just trying to learn everything right now and take it all in," he said. "Playing safety in JC you played closer to the cornerbacks, and here you play closer to the line and you have more assignments. I know everything will fall into place. Other players are obviously ahead of me because they've been here, but I know things will get easier for me later on."

Recruit Profile


Troy Nolan

Junior College/High School

College of the Canyons(Calif.) /El Camino (Calif.)







Date of birth



Westwood, Calif.



Favorite TV show


Favorite movie

"Transporter 2"

Favorite singer/band

"Lil' Wayne"

Favorite food


Favorite drink

"Grape Juice"

Favorite athlete

"Terrell Owens"

Favorite pro team

"San Francisco 49ers"

Person you most admire

"My mom. She's a single parent and she took care not only of me, but also my cousin who she took in. She's a hard worker."

First football memory

"Playing flag football, I was like eight then. I played for the 49ers, and that's why I like them now."

One thing most people don't know about me

"I'm real outgoing."

Why did you choose ASU?

"I wanted to play in the Pac-10 so my family can see me play."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"I want to go into law enforcement, maybe the FBI."

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