Safety in numbers

Another two-a-day session of fall camp has come and gone for the maroon and gold and while improvement is being seen across the board, the depth at certain positions is also increasing. Specifically at safety, the Sun Devils have found the depth of their unit falling into place.

"We got four or five (safeties) come to think of it," head coach Dennis Erickson said. "We put Keelan (Johnson) and Max (Tabach) in there and Clint (Floyd) and Eddie (Elder), we're alternating them in there because we feel like that's an awfully good mix.

"We're just trying different combinations, a little competition."

One of the biggest improvements seen since spring practice has been in a group that took much criticism last season - the wide receivers. Under their position coach Steve Broussard, this unit has dedicated their focus to the notion that blocking is essential.

"That's the biggest improvement I've seen maybe on this whole football team is how well they're blocking out there and how committed they are to doing it," Erickson said. "Coach Broussard makes it a must because you're not going to play if you don't block that's just his philosophy and our philosophy in what we're doing offensively, you got to with all those things we throw out there and then improvement, as you guys can tell between night and day.

"Our routes are a little bit different and there's some difference, there's more reading coverage's and underneath stuff and crossing stuff and obviously we're throwing a lot more to the back when we can get it to them and that makes a little difference too."

Another notable player improving this fall has been redshirt sophomore Andrew Sampson. Sampson has begun taking first team reps at left guard and his experience at center has proven to be a valuable asset.

"He's smart, you know, he's very athletic," Erickson noted. "He's a 300 pounder so he's a wide body out there. And having played center too he understands a lot of what's going on."

On the defensive side of the ball the Sun Devils look to defensive tackle Will Sutton to be one of the impact players of that group. The sophomore spent the offseason conditioning his body and increasing his quickness only yielding positive results.

"You know, as we've been looking he might be our best guy in there," Erickson commented. "I mean at least in fall camp, Will is such a penetrator and has such quickness, he has lost 20 pounds since last spring and that's made a huge difference and it's good to have that kind of depth. He's had a great camp."

As far as injuries are concerned, tight end Trevor Kohl spent the afternoon session of practice sidelined by a hamstring injury. Pulling hamstrings has been a common theme of the fall camp and has hit other players as well. Yet it is an injury that just takes time and patience to heal.

"We just kept him out today or this afternoon," Erickson said. "He may be back tomorrow depending. Those things just don't go away unless you do something about it. You like to think they do but they are the hardest injury to get well because they keep trying to get in and keep trying to get in and then they re-pull the thing.

"With Gerell (Robinson), he tried five, six days ago to go and he re-pulled it so it's another week so we just have to make sure it's healed. Pflugrad waited, he waited and waited until it felt good and now he's going full speed, and even though he had to sit out awhile, at least its full speed."

Offensive lineman Jon Hargis, expected to be out this season after tearing his ACL injury during spring practice, was seen working with trainers and running on the field, which can only mean that more progress is being made.

"Nothing will shock me," Erickson noted. "I mean he's probably three months away at least. I mean that's a lot better than we thought. You never know. That was the first time I've seen him run.

"It's amazing what the mind can do sometimes."

ASU players react to The Tillman Story

Following their Saturday scrimmage the Sun Devil squad attended a private screening of the documentary film "The Tillman Story." We asked some of the ASU players to share their reactions to that movie.

Omar Bolden:

"Honest opinion, there is like a secret society that we don't really know anything about and its dealt with a higher power and its just out of our control. I feel like the situation is very unfortunate, I think that the truth needs to be brought to the Tillman family and I just think its disappointing that it's not.

"I enjoyed (the film); everything that was on the tape was new to me. All I've heard was stories about him so I have respect for the man but I have a whole different respect for him now since I've seen the movie and I know everything behind the scenes. But you know it was pretty disappointing though to hear what happened to the family.

"It makes us understand what we're wearing when we walk out onto that Sun Devil Stadium with the PT on our jersey and when we touch Pat Tillman's name before we walk out it makes you appreciate what we're doing."

Clint Floyd

"It was a great movie. I saw a couple of players tear up during the movie and I was about to tear up myself. It's an inspiring story. You get to see his background and everything that happened with his death. He's was a great person.

"We already knew a lot about Pat Tillman just being here at ASU, but I didn't know that he went into the army that he was giving up the NFL for good and never was coming back."

Samson Szakacsy

"Pat was awesome. The government (cover-up) is expected. It is what it is. The thing I like about Pat is that he saw the best in everybody and everything. In the Military – he saw the best in the flag. He saw the best in what it means to be a patriot. But the reality is that we don't always act accordingly to what we know as truth and goodness in our heart. We are all good underneath and Pat saw that good in everybody. But people don't live accordingly to that and that's where you get all the corruption."


Sun Devil Source Top Stories