Nolan Finds Redemption

When he played against Colorado, it wasn't just another game but also an opportunity to prove himself after a forced redshirt season. When he intercepted a pass and scored a touchdown, he didn't only feel the obvious elation but also satisfaction that he undid something wrong done earlier in that game. Safety Troy Nolan is writing new chapters in his career and is doing so effectively these days.

"I still hear about my touchdown," said Troy Nolan about his 26-yard interception for a score. "But it's over and it's time to get some more. We have to leave that game behind us…the touchdown meant a lot because when they scored a touchdown it was in part my fault, and I had to do something to get it back."

The 6-2 204 safety from the College of the Canyons was enjoying a fine spring practice during his transfer year in 2006, when he tore the meniscus in his knee about halfway through the 15-practice session. The injury not only knocked him out of spring practice, but ultimately forced him to redshirt the season as his injury never completely healed last year.

A strong 2007 spring marked the beginning of his comeback, as he cemented his starter status alongside Captain Josh Barrett. "It's pretty cool but I'm just too excited to think about that right now," claimed Nolan. "We have a lot of games to focus on and get ready for. At the end of the season, I'll have time to sit down and think about how rewarding everything was. I just need to stay healthy too."

In preparing for his team's next opponent, Nolan is impressed with San Diego State wide receiver Chaz Schilens and feels that overall that unit is stronger than the one the maroon and gold encountered against Colorado. However, Arizona State head Coach Dennis Erickson did mention that his team's secondary had a few breakdowns against the Buffaloes last week, which naturally means that Nolan and the rest of the defensive backfield will have to pick up their game this Saturday.

"We have a few mental breakdowns,' Nolan explained, "basically playing out of position at times. They had some dropped balls so nothing bad happened, but we're gonna get better this weekend."

The Sun Devil defense has allowed just one touchdown through two games and leads the conference in some of the defensive categories. Nolan stated that the defense won't be satisfied with allowing a touchdown every other contest, and aims for a shutout every time they take the field. It may sound like unrealistic bravado to some, but that's the mentality of the 2007 ASU defense.

"That's what we pride ourselves on – playing with confidence and getting our swag. That's what we need because we want to lead the Pac-10 in defense. So we pride ourselves in confidence, swag, and running hard to the ball."

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