Bass Plans to Firmly Clutch Opportunity

As we start our interview with Ryan Bass, Keegan Herring yells "Catch!" to the unsuspecting freshman and tosses a football. Bass caught it and made sure it never left his side. In light of his fall camp's fumbling reputation Bass understands Herring's action. He also feels that he can ultimately shed that stigma and live up to his lofty accolades as an electrifying and sure handed running back.

"The fumbles are more of a mental thing," said Bass. "I've been working every day in practice on it. I've had a few mistakes here and there and I feel I'm getting better at it every day. I'm gonna keep on working hard until I'm the best at it (holding onto the ball)."

"I try not to think about fumbling, I just go out there and play. Thinking about fumbles, will make you fumble. Even though I'm gonna get to play this year, it's not like I'm thinking it isn't an issue. It's a big issue because losing a fumble hurts your team, and like I said I'm just gonna continue to work hard every day on this."

Not only is Bass guaranteed to play in the season opener this Saturday against NAU, but injuries to Keegan Herring and Shaun DeWitty naturally present an opportunity for the former Corona (Calif.) Centennial standout to receive a larger than expected number of snaps in the season opener.

"I'm pretty excited," Bass acknowledged. "It's hard not be nervous. I thought about this all summer long and it feels great playing as a freshman. I'm just practicing hard getting ready for the game Saturday."

The depth at running back is one of the Sun Devils' strengths, which makes the freshman ever prouder that he didn't get lost in the numbers and will avoid the redshirt tag. "I worked hard all summer," he stated. "I had to work on my academics to qualify and when I wasn't studying I was staying in shape. I'm happy it all paid off pretty well and that I'm not redshirting this year."

Many expected Bass to play his freshman year in Tempe, but there was a lesser degree of certainty concerning his two high school teammates Brandon Magee and Shelly Lyons.

"Yeah, us three coming from Corona are trying to put Corona on the map," said Bass. "It's a great feeling that two of my best friends will also be playing this year with me, just like it was in high school. I'm not surprised they're not redshirting. It's a great time right now for all three of us."

Bass acknowledged that they're still many things that he has to get used to as he makes the adjustment from high school to college, and having former teammates go through the process with him has been beneficial. "We go to class together and if we get lost, we get lost together. I'm very happy that we're still together," he said.

Friendships off the field aside, on the gridiron it's all business among this trio of players. In a previous interview to Devils Digest, Lyons said that he and Magee couldn't tackle Bass in high school practice and quipped that now they are making up for lost time and laying the wood on Bass here at ASU.

"No hard feelings," said Bass. "They're just doing their thing out there. They're great athletes and I expect them to play hard."

And as Bass and his Centennial teammates found out at ASU – hard work does have its rewards.

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