Erickson Pleased with First Fall Practice

It was cool, breezy, and the mood was light for Arizona State Football's first practice since the spring. Not what one would normally expect, but very refreshing for all who attended. The performance on the field was also pleasing to their Head Coach.

"Day one was good, day one," Erickson said. "There was a lot of enthusiasm, as always. I thought we executed pretty well on both sides for the first day, and again we obviously got a long ways to go.

"The good thing is we have some depth for a change, we're three deep in the offensive front which is unheard of for us, so you have to just keep developing players, and see what happens."

Arizona State is coming off a 5-7 record, and it should be noted that Erickson has never had back-to-back losing seasons. When asked if there is added pressure from that he responded: "There is some motivation, there is no question about that. And it has nothing to do with back-to-back; we came off last year, which was a disappointing year for all of us. We don't want to repeat that."

Erickson made it a point to note that retention was good by both sides of the ball, especially the quarterbacks and compared the first day of practice like the first day of school.

"I mean I don't know if they went and got their school clothes, but it's kinda like that," Erickson stated. "There's excitement, and again retention, but we got a lot of work to do."

One of the biggest topics of discussion was the arrival of top recruit Vontaze Burfict who is allowed 14 practices despite not being academically cleared yet by the NCAA. All eyes were on the five-star linebacker the entire practice, and he naturally caught the eye of Coach Erickson.

"Number seven moves around pretty good," Erickson said with a chuckle.

Another storyline worth watching in practice was the quarterback battle between Danny Sullivan, Samson Szakacsy, and Brock Osweiler.

Sullivan saw the majority of reps with the first team offense, while the other two manned the second and third teams respectively. Yet, Erickson isn't ready to close the book on the competition just yet.

"Danny had a good spring and summer, and right now he's the starter," noted Erickson, "but there's competition out there so we'll see what happens."

Szakacsy threw the tightest balls of the day, but all three looked like they had a grasp of the offense.

Erickson's main point to be taken away from today's practice is that the position battles will remain open till the season starts.

"Everything is open," commented Erickson, "we have to see what we're gonna do in the front, our defensive front. Offensive front we've got some guys that are healthy now. Safety there is gonna be some battles, linebacker there is a lot of depth, but we got a long time before we have to make a decision about any of those spots.

"We'll see what happens; nothing is etched in granite, nothing, so we'll see how he progresses in the next month and go from there."

Sun Devil Source Top Stories