Guthrie Grasping New Position with Success

A couple of years ago, Dane Guthrie made the cross-country trek from his home state of Florida to play for the Sun Devils. Thus, last week's move of a mere few inches to the other side of the line of scrimmage naturally pales in comparison. The former tight end is now a starting defensive end, and the junior is thriving in his new role – one of dire need for the ASU defense.

In 2005 Dane Guthrie transferred from the University of Florida, along with Sun Devil defensive end Tranell Morant. Both followed Coach Bill Miller who already completed his own transfer from Gainesville to Tempe. "It seems that I adapt well," said Guthrie. "It helped that I came with Tranell and Coach Miller – people that you know from before and that you can talk to."

Due to recent and numerous injuries at defensive end, including good friend Morant, the Arizona State coaches approached Guthrie, who played defensive end his senior year at Killian High School in Miami, to see if he would reprise that role. As one who highly values the good of the team, Guthrie said that he was "very receptive" to the request. He mentioned his "speed and power." as two attributes that sold the coaches on his potential to make a successful transition.

After practicing last Thursday for the very first time at defensive end, in the next day's scrimmage the junior excelled recording a sack and overall being of the standouts on defense. "It was very surprising," he commented on his scrimmage performance at the new position. "I transferred here with Tranell and it's funny how I'm playing D-End (like Morant). It's definitely surreal."

Guthrie may have felt confined at tight end, since he mentioned how liberating the defensive end role can be, despite the natural learning curve. "It's a permanent switch and it's been good so far," he noted. "It's just hard learning everything in a short period of time, but it's been all good so far. The most challenging thing has been learning all the plays, the blitzes, coverages…all the things that a D-End does. But the reward is that it's a little more free on the D-End side. It's a little wild, reckless…I like it."

Prior to his move, Guthrie was second in the depth chart at tight end, and looked as if he would vastly improve on his four catches for 15 yards performance in 2006. Since he was excelling at his original position, does he have any regrets to not playing tight end? "We have a great tight end in Brent Miller and I'm sure he will hold it down and do a great job," said Guthrie. "I was getting a few snaps here and there, but it's nice playing defense with 1's right now."

With the recent offensive struggles during the team scrimmages, Guthrie quipped when he was wondering if his move to defensive end didn't make things worse for the offense or much better for the defense. Nonetheless, he's full of praise for this group. "We have Josh Barrett, Robert James, Michael Marquardt, David Smith and everybody else…I think we'll be better than last year," he claimed. "We have a lot of confidence, and it's now up to have veterans to help new players to this defense like me."

A fall practice which started as a promising one for Guthrie at tight end, is turning right before our eyes as superb period of time for Guthrie at defensive end, who will never look back and ask ‘what if?'. "I just want to play, and coach gave me an opportunity to play defense, and trusts me to help the team on defense. I'm gonna take advantage of that opportunity."

Matters were definitely not going according to plan when it comes to Guthrie's contributions thus far on the team. Yet, he's hesitant to crown his achievements at defensive end as a vehicle of personal redemption. On the other hand, he isn't so humble when asked if his goal is to start in the team's season opener.

"I'm trying to be an All-American, I'm all in," said Guthrie. "They made the switch permanent, and I have to jump in and be in the right mindset."

Seems like a non-issue for the well-adapted Guthrie…

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