Newcomer Report

The outcome of the 30th annual Holiday Bowl, a 52-34 loss to Texas, wasn't what Sun Devil fans had anticipated. Win or lose, there's still plenty of optimism surrounding the program looking ahead to the 2008 season. Several newcomers had varying roles in the team's success in 2007 and look to play an even bigger part in the years to come.

Some new faces were added to the defensive line this year and the results were encouraging. Paired with sophomore Dexter Davis, Luis Vasquez has been an asset at defensive end for Arizona State. The junior had three and a half tackles on Thursday, including one sack.

Paul 'Unga and Jon Hargis combined for another four stops against the Longhorns. Jonathan English, a freshman defensive tackle, played but did not register any tackles. The Sun Devils have lacked some depth along the line and all of these players look to be valuable additions to next year's team.

Safety Troy Nolan emerged as a playmaker in the secondary this season after redshirting last year as a junior college transfer. Nolan finished the game with five solo stops and one pass break up. Omar Bolden has been a fixture at cornerback since the Stanford game and appears to be headed for a bright future there. Bolden notched four and a half tackles against Texas.

On offense, freshman Kerry Taylor was too good to redshirt despite an already crowded group at wide receiver. Taylor didn't come up with any receptions in the bowl game but his best days are still ahead of him. Running back Jarrell Woods saw his first action of the season on Thursday. The sophomore had 20 yards and one touchdown on three carries in the season finale.

The team's do-it-all specialist this season, Thomas Weber, the 2007 Lou Groza winner, put the finishing touches on an excellent debut season. Weber's 46-yard and 32-yard field goals in Thursday night's game brought his season total to 28 makes. His only miss of the year came in a November trip at Oregon. The redshirt freshman has also doubled as a punter this year. Weber had five punts for a 36.4 yard average in the bowl game. ________________________________________

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