True Freshmen Shine in Scrimmage

Many veteran players on both sides of the ball played well in Saturday's scrimmage. Some of the Sun Devil newcomers showed much promise during that session as well, and reaffirmed the notion that the 2006 version of the football squad is the deepest it has been in several years. Case in point, safety Ryan McFoy had three pass breakups and tailback Dimitri Nance scored two touchdowns.

The 6-1 194 Ryan McFoy was declared by head coach Dirk Koetter as the best safety to ever be recruited by Arizona State in the last five years. If Saturday's performance is any indication, the Chino (Calif.) product will prove that statement to be absolutely true. "Our defense really stepped up today," he said. "We still have a lot of work to do, but we'll be ready for the season. It's very different than high school, but I've been trying to do my best. Being here all summer helped me adjust to everything, I started taking classes; I got into shape and started to learn the coverages."

His three pass breakups were indicative of how active the true freshman was in the defensive backfield. He was able to use his athleticism to be close to the ball, and once he got there he was unafraid to stick his nose and make the big hit or deflect a pass. "The safeties here are blitzing a lot and the whole scheme is like my high school," stated McFoy, "so I'm used to all this."

The safety says that even though his veteran teammates dish out the normal razzing a true freshman will receive, he does take it all is stride. After all, he has to stay concentrated on his game. "I'm trying not to redshirt and I think I have a good chance to play right away," he declared. "We'll see what happens; it's all up to the coaches."

Dimitri Nance probably came with the most accolades of any true freshman, and much like McFoy the 5-10 211 tailback showed that he's ready to live up to his high expectation right here, right now. His 37-yard score showed not only power to run between the tackles, but also ample speed in the open field. "I feel real good right now," he said following the scrimmage. "I studied all my assignments and went in there just like I did in high school and ran hard. The biggest adjustment I had to do on this level is get used to the speed. You have to hit the hole faster than you did in high school."

Like with any other newcomer tailback, there's one aspect that Nance realizes will be paramount to him to master, if he hopes to contribute in 2006. "My main focus right now is to improve my pass blocking," he admitted. "That's one of the focal points in this offense. If I want to play, I have to pass block well."

Nance is part of the deepest running back groups at ASU in the last ten years. He knows that fact can translate into a stiff assignment to crack the rotation, but he also acknowledges how important it is to the overall good of the team. "If one player goes down, there's someone there to replace him," he commented. "It's great that we have so many good running backs. That's really gonna help us this season."

One Camp T ritual involves the newcomers reading their bios from the media guide. The longer the bio, the more cat calls one has to endure. As the 5A player in Texas, the tailback's portion will definitely be one the longest to be read among the 2006 recruiting class. "No, I didn't have to read my bio yet," he remarked. "But the team is showing me a lot love and they want me to succeed. I just want to go in there and do what the coach tells me to do and help the team. After how I played today, I hope that I'm not redshirting."

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