Plays Like He Practices

At times, college players will tune out coach's messages. One popular saying that a weary athlete will tend to ignore, is that practice makes for good play on Saturday. Then again, Derron Ware should make them think twice. The linebacker who had a spectacular fall camp, proved that theory correct with an enormous game against NAU.

Following the victory over the Lumberjacks, Derron Ware didn't know that he collected three sacks and eight tackles. His blitzing was effective to say the least, but he didn't know if this was a sign of things to come. "I have no idea," he said. "I know the coaches like me as a speed rusher, but I don't know what they want me to do, we'll take it one week at a time. This game…there were a lot of blitz calls where I could get a free rush and I could use my speed to get some sacks."

The game's first half was a bag of mixed goods for the defense. In the Lumberjacks' first series, the visitors were sacked three times, one of them courtesy of the senior linebacker. Later on, ASU was burned for two touchdown passes of 80 and 60 yards. "It was very important for us to set the tone," Ware said. "Coach Miller had talked to us before we walked out and said that we might be up first so let's set the tone for the game. We blitzed them on the first play to try and get a sack and it worked. With the two quick scores, we didn't have the play in for the first one…much credit to those guys they came out and played a nice game and competed real hard and gave us a real challenge."

The second half though was more boring in nature, as Ware and his teammates pitched a shut out. "We just came out with a different attitude," he recalled. "We came out and said they got two good ones on us and it's still 0-0. We came out rallying…as defense we had two good stops."

The 6-4 217 Ware played at safety last season, and being a year out of football showed in his play as he struggled during 2005. This year, he has blossomed at linebacker but wouldn't rule out aiding at his old position. "If they call on my number I'm ready," he claimed. "I like playing linebacker because I get a chance to make more plays because you're closer to the ball."

Based on last year's performance, some have labeled Ware as a big disappointment. Needless to say that he's reversing his fortunes quite nicely, which fits into his wishes of being perceived in a different light in his senior season. "I want the coaches to know that they can count on me," he said. "That's the only thing I have to prove."

Any doubters?

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