Lindsey Comes Back Strong After Redshirt Year

Being sidelined for a year isn't an easy pill to swallow. Chad Lindsey, who sat out 2006 with an injury, knows all too well about that sinking feeling. Using that redshirt season to your advantage isn't something that all players do, but the linebacker knew better. He was ASU's Scout Player of the Year on defense last season and this spring is one of the top performers on the Sun Devils defense.

"I'm feeling pretty good," said the 6-0 228 Chad Lindsey after Tuesday's practice. "I have a lot of things I still gotta learn now, but I'm getting better. Redshirting was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I thought it was over for me. But that redshirt made me work harder than ever."

His redshirt season was actually a self-imposed one. Lindsey felt that his back injury wasn't going to get him heavy in the rotation, and after the third game of the 2006 season (Colorado) he decided that it would be in his best interest to sit out the year and not lose a year of eligibility playing limited minutes.

Coming back after a redshirt year can be hard, mainly because you don't know what to expect of yourself and how you'll be perceived by the coaches. An additional transition that not only Lindsey had to go through was the change in the coaching staff. Linebackers coach (and also new defensive coordinator for that matter) Craig Bray is Lindsey's new position coach.

"I like Coach Bray. Like Coach (Bill) Miller was he's hard on you, because he wants you to be great," explained Lindsey. "You can't knock that, you got to expect it. Even though there are a lot of concepts in the defense, it's easier because you don't have to think that much. It's more straight forward…you know what you have to do and who you have to cover."

In the spring, his fine play along with some injuries to his fellow linebackers, have elevated him to the first team "I put so much work in, I better be first team (laughs). I'm just trying to bust my butt," stated Lindsey. "I played my freshman year, redshirted my sophomore year and I didn't like that. So I'm gonna work hard to be on the field as much as I can… I gained 15 pounds and got faster. I want to start and be the best linebacker on the team."

Any visitor to Arizona State's spring practice can't help but notice the spirited sessions, which have players from both sides of the ball continuously jabbing back and forth at each other. "It's all because Keegan (ASU RB Keegan Herring) talks trash," quipped Lindsey. "Jeremy (ASU safety Jeremy Payton) talks too but he's on the D-Side, so I'm gonna blame it on Keegan." More than anything, the reality of the changing of these at the helm of the team served notice to the linebacker and his teammates, and gave them a sense of urgency. "I think a lot of players took the coaching change real serious," said Lindsey. "As that process went on and after the Hawaii game, we were saying ‘we gotta make something happen. We have new coaches, and they say things happen for a reason. We have to make to this team better.' That was our attitude. Coach Erickson came in and helped with that attitude."

Having the attitude of players such as Chad Lindsey doesn't hurt the cause as well…

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