Bass Ready for More Opportunities

Very few newcomers in ASU's 2008 recruiting class had as many accolades as Ryan Bass did. Yet, just like most of his fellow newcomers, the learning curve at fall camp was steep. Fumbles plagued Bass' play which caused him to sink deeper in the depth chart than some may have anticipated. As a result, he had just three carries in the first five games.

Nonetheless, when Bass was given more game reps in the last two contests, the Corona (Calif.) Centennial product took full advantage of his increased playing time.

Against USC he had five carries for 22 yards and in Arizona State's last game against Oregon, playing with a sore hamstring, he had a career day tallying ten carries for 56 yards.

The loss to the Ducks, 54-20, was the worst of the season for the Sun Devils but the running back could take some solace in his productive game.

"It felt good getting out there, running around a little bit, showing the coaches what I can do," said Bass. "It was a big game for me. I was practicing with the 1's and 2's during the week so I expected to play, but not as I much I did. It felt good."

"Maybe this week (against Oregon State) I'll get more reps – we'll see what happens."

Playing time was very scarce for the running back the first half of the season. In two of ASU's games, against Georgia and Cal, the Bass didn't even take a snap. In other games, his playing time was minimal at best.

"It was very hard for me," acknowledged Bass, "but I just kept my head up, kept on working very hard and it turned out pretty good."

In those tough times, it undoubtedly helped Bass to have two of his Centennial teammates and fellow freshmen, Shelly Lyons and Brandon Magee, on the team. Lyons and Magee were hampered by injuries, so all three did a lot to help pick each other up as they dealt with adversity.

"We keep each other humble," remarked Bass, "and we're good friends growing up together as little kids. It's great to go to college with these guys and we support each other all the time. I'm really glad that they're here."

For Bass, there was no magic formula to cure his fumbles. The running back said it all came down to good old fashion hard work.

"I worked on it every day – (holding the ball) high and tight," recalled Bass. "I worked on protecting the ball every day. Coaches told me that the fumbles were the reason why I didn't get more reps in practice and in the games so I knew I had to work on it and get better."

Gaining weight was another goal that Bass sought to obtain. Even though he came to ASU only in the first week of August, he has already gained 20 pounds to date and is tipping the scales at 205 lbs. while gaining a lot of muscle in his upper body.

"I was just working hard in the weight room, eating the right foods," described Bass as he talked about his weight gain regimen, "ate a lot of protein, drinking protein shakes. I'm eating much better here than I was back home."

In terms of his overall skills, Bass believed that he improved his blocking, footwork and speed.

"I just got better and more confident at everything," stated Bass.

Aside from all the normal adjustments a true freshman has to deal with, going through a major losing streak is new to the running back, who had an outstanding prep career at one of the best high schools in Southern California.

"I'm not used to losing from high school, but it isn't gonna last long," said Bass. "We're gonna pick it up."

And who better to exemplify a successful turnaround than Ryan Bass?

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