Todd Graham, Will Sutton and Taylor Kelly took the stage Friday at Pac-12 Media Day to address the hype train known as Arizona State football. While the excitement around the program was undeniably palpable through their words, they still managed to restrain from throwing up their pitchforks on stage. And for that, we give them props.
But even if they managed to keep their hand symbols at a minimum, they still said quite a few notable quotes:
Opening remarks: "I'm excited to be here and we're looking forward to competing for a Pac-12 Championship, Rose Bowl Championship, and ultimately a national championship."
On the offensive: "We were 14th in the country scoring points, and we want to be number one in the country."
On chemistry: "We have a team that loves each other, guys that have invested and worked hard."
On Will Sutton: "In my 27 years, I've not coached a defensive player more passionate then he is about competing. One of the smartest defenses players I've been around. He's stronger, bigger, faster."
On rival game vs. Arizona: "In rival games, people think there is more emotion in the game, the key is to win the games, and if you get too emotionally involved in all of it, it gets distracting."
On best team he's ever coached: "I think just the mental maturity of the team and how its grown. The speed, the explosive power, the talent that we have, it's the most talented team I've ever coached."
On if he wants to "one-up" Jadeveon Clowney: "I don't pay attention to Clowney. I know he's a great player and the prototype for the next level...but I don't try to model my game after him. I try to be the best I can be...and go out there and compete for myself and for my teammates."
On his decision to come back to ASU for his senior season: "The deciding factor was my grade from the NFL committee and also what I needed to get done here at ASU. I'm nine credits from graduating and I will be done in December. I love my teammates, the coaching staff and the atmosphere around here. We want to accomplish something that once again hasn't been done here before and I want to be part of that."
On the closeness of the team: "...I feel like our relationships are stronger than we ever had. We believe in one another and we don't have to worry about somebody else doing their job because we know that they're going to get it done. We feel like we have all the confidence in the world to accomplish our goal."
On drag racing: "It bothers them a little bit. I only do it once a year, but I'm going to stop doing that and focus on football." Graham playfully aded "Bothers me a lot."
On wide receivers: "It's going well, with Coyle and Smith and Chambers, they're doing a great job, and I'm excited for Morris and Strong to get here and start working with them."
On Rose Bowl expectations: "I believe that 100%. We have great guys coming back and the summer that we had, and spring ball, has grown and this year is huge and I can't wait for it to get started."