The Freeze era officially began this morning as the Red Wolves had their first fall camp practice. Anticipation for this season among ASU fans has been higher than I've seen in years past, much due to the hope they've got in the new man in charge, coach Hugh Freeze.
I've got to say, he made a good first impression today — whether interacting with his players, coaches, or media personnel. There's just a tempo about him that holds the attention of whomever he's communicating with.
He even said it himself in the press conference when talking about how Womack, ASU's defensive coordinator, was a good balance for him. "Sometimes I'm a little out there on the energy side and on the emotional side," Freeze said.
If you watch him at practice, it's easy to see how hands-on Freeze is in his coaching. His energy is contagious, rubbing off on his athletes like some kind of airborne virus. Everything is done at a fast pace and with a purpose. Which, of course, is reflected particularly in his offensive scheme.
And while Freeze is new in the head coaching position, this will be ASU's second season of running his offense. His ever-changing and constantly-being-added-to offense, that is. He said in his press conference today that the number of plays in his playbook are "totally unlimited."
Freeze talked a lot about the different offenses he's been influenced by over the years, about studying some of the best teams in the country this year like Oregon and Auburn, and taking concepts used by some of the best and make them ASU's own.
He's crafty, always looking to change and tweak little things here and there to find whatever works best — and I think that's encouraging for fans to see in a new coach.
Somebody who's hard at work to create something that works better than anything else. He also said he's open to anybody presenting new ideas as long as they stick to the three blocking schemes ASU uses to keep it simple for the offensive line. He seems to be about team work in pretty much all aspects of his coaching.
And as much hype as there's been around this town for Freeze as the new head coach of the Red Wolves, he's humble. He said during his press conference he's humbled that the community and fans have really rallied behind the program since January, but that he doesn't believe he's given them a reason to love him yet. Rest assured he's hard at work to get the job done, though.
Judging solely on the outcome of day one of fall camp, I'd say there's reason for this community to be excited about what Freeze is doing and will hopefully continue to do with this program. It's an exciting time to be living in AState Nation.
Fall camp coverage is being brought to you by the Coffee Gallery and Club Tan with two locations in Jonesboro. They are located at 3229 S. Caraway Road and 309 S.W. Drive.