Newcomers Excited to Kick Off the Season

For Sun Devil fans the off-season ended today, when the Football team's freshmen and newcomers started practicing. The newest members of the ASU squad were eager to start their new career.

Here's what some of the team's newcomers had to say about the first day of practice:

Matt Mason: (on being one of the only upperclassmen among all the freshmen)"It's different being the older guy here. But they're my peers and my teammates, and I respect them just as much as anyone on the team…(on his anticipation before the first day of practice) "I was just as excited as anyone to come out and get this thing started. It's about time I'm out here! "

Jamal Lewis: (on leaving the cool confines of home state of Colorado) "It was 50 degrees and raining when I left home. It was hot in the car driving up here, and that's with the air conditioning on! (smile)… (on being nervous before the first practice) "I was pretty cool before practice, but once you step on the field the jitters start going inside of you…(on what he's trying to accomplish in there freshman practices) "I'm just working on my skills in tight end. Everybody is talented here, and you have to keep up and improve yourself as a player."

Kellen Bradley: (on his feelings before the first practice) "There was a lot of anticipation all summer going into this. So far it's been great. We're working real hard, but it's all good. Even though I'm the hometown kid, I'm still excited for practice. But being all summer here and working out with the team, it maybe a little different for me…(comparing this practice to his high school one) "The biggest difference is that everyone is fast. Much faster than high school."

Mike Davis: (on his anticipation for the first day of practice) "I wasn't real nervous for the first practice, because I was here for a couple of months already. It's just another day…(the objectives of the freshmen practice). They just gonna break us in, and get us ready for camp. We're just wanna show people why we're here…(having a different mindset than others because he may not redshirt). Everyone has the same mindset here – they all wanna play. Everyone is gonna work their hardest so they can get that done."

Jake Bingham: (on his impressions of his fellow newcomers) "We have a real good recruiting class, and we have a chance to be real good in the next two years. I don't know much about the juniors and seniors on the team, but from what I hear about my recruiting class we got all the players that we were looking for. I'm excited…(on his knew injury that will limit him in practice) "I had surgery on my knee three months ago. I just have been working out ever since trying to get it ready. My knee is close to perfect. It just has to get stronger. But it's much better than it was…"

Both JC transfers Louis Areyan and Aaron Austin were the only members of the 2002 recruiting class that were absent from today's practices. Areyan has completed his classes and is already in Tempe awaiting official word that he had graduated from El Camino Junior College. Austin will only complete his classes next week, so he will conceivably miss some of Camp Tontozona.

Defensive end Nick Johnson turned heads at the end of practice. After a two hour practice the 6-4 245 Johnson managed to run a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash…Jordan Hill the newly signed linebacker looks much bigger than his listed 6-2 250…Defensive tackle Ali Likio's 6-3 300 stature should do a good job clogging up the middle…Not that the incumbent ASU offensive linemen are less imposing, but the freshman in that position are physical specimen. Andrew Carnahan is a legitimate 6-8, and nicely built at 270…Derek Hagan has impressed at wide receiver. His performance has squelched any thoughts of him possibly playing corner back.

Several walk-ons have joined the Football the team. They include:

S Marcus Johnson Tempe, AZ (Marcos de Niza)

S Steven Miller (Eastern AZ College)

DB Courtney Golden Phoenix, AZ (Glendale CC)

WR Wyatt Poole Clovis, CA (Clovis)

QB Jon Stoner Glendale, AZ (Cactus)

TE Albert Tenbruggencate San Mateo, CA (Junipero Serra)

Jason Burke Glendale, AZ (Mountain Ridge)

Shawn Hinton Thatcher, AZ (Thatcher)

Nate Mortensen Tempe, AZ (Tempe)

The team's freshmen and newcomers will practice again on Sunday Aug.4th at 9:25 AM and 4:25 PM. The morning practice will be on the Astroturf field behind the Football practice field, and the afternoon practice will take place at the practice field.

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