SAN ANTONIO — The 2013 season may have ended in disappointing fashion for Arizona State, but that hasn't changed DL commit Connor Humphreys' thoughts on which direction the Sun Devils are trending.
"I think Coach Graham definitely has things going upwards," Humphreys said. "They were almost playing for a Rose Bowl, and I think next year we are going to be playing for a Rose Bowl, so I'm excited for it."
Humphreys plans to be a key contributor on that possible Rose Bowl run next season as either a defensive end or defensive tackle. Humphreys has no preference.
"It just depends on my weight," Humphreys said. "Maybe defensive end, maybe defensive tackle, we'll just have to see how things go. I'm fine playing either one, it's just whatever Coach Shipp decides."
Arzona State will need all the help it can get on the defensive line with the loss of Will Sutton and his 48 tackles (13.5 for loss) to graduation. But Humphreys is confident that the next guys up can handle the load.
"[Sutton] has a little more size on me for sure," Humphreys said. "But me and Tashon [Smallwood] are going to be able to replace him and the other graduating seniors."
Humphreys knows he has what it takes to step in early.
"My speed and my experience. [will help]," Humphreys said. "I'm a really mature kid and going down there I'll be able to step up and play against the old guys. It's going to be a fun year for me."
At 6-foot-3, 277 pounds, Humphreys has added about 10 or 15 pounds since the summer. While that's been a big point of emphasis for him lately, he doesn't anticipate getting much bigger until he gets to college.
In the meantime, he said his speed will be the most important thing to work on.
"I'm just trying to keep my feet fast," Humphreys said. "Adding all this weight can tend to make that go away, so I'm just trying to work on my speed and keep my speed up."
Humphreys has enjoyed his week in Texas for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He's gotten to work with a future teammate in D.J. Calhoun, who's been one of the West's top performers this week.
Humphreys anticipates both himself and Calhoun will be a big part of a defense that he can't wait to play on.
"I think the defense is an attacking defense," Humphreys said. "It's a defense I want to play for. Coach Graham is a defensive coach and I think it's a great place for me."
USAAAB: Connor Humphreys
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