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Checking In Around The Valley

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A few articles written this weekend about our boys in Maroon and Gold.

AZ Central.com tackled the hype surrounding the program this season, from the high expectations, national media scrutiny, and what it is like to have a Lou Groza award winner on the team.

Weber believes his teammates can handle it.

"One thing I've really noticed lately is how much leadership we have on our team," he said. "It's not just the coaches. During practices (in the spring), players were coaching up other players. Everyone's on the same page."

One of those leaders is quarterback Rudy Carpenter, who isn't afraid to speak his mind and expects as much from his teammates as he does from himself. This is the senior's last chance to leave his mark on the program. If there's anyone in this group who will go down swinging, it's Carpenter.
 

I wrote earlier on how Rudy has evolved as a leader and it would be important to see how he handles being the face of the team.  It sounds like he is ready to give it his all this year, and it will be crucial for him to keep his cool.  He has been known to melt down a bit during big games. Also, one of his biggest problems from last year was addressed.

The subject of sacks with this offense is a tricky one. Carpenter prefers to make something happen and will hold on to the ball, while offensive coordinator Rich Olson has stressed that it's OK to throw it away sometimes.

Finally. Hopefully Olson is more stubborn than Carpenter is, because playing the Bulldogs will be a real test. Their speed, along with USC's speed, won't allow Rudy to hold onto the ball for a 5-alligator count.

Moving along.

The East Valley Tribune also posted a "top 10 questions" article about the Devils, but we will only look at a few points of interests to avoid redundancy. The two interesting tidbits regard the massive bubble that has appeared across from the baseball field, and every student's favorite, Grades.

 

The opening of Arizona State’s $8.4 million, 103,000-square-foot “bubble” structure — the first scheduled practice inside it is on Saturday — means that the Sun Devils are trading tradition for convenience. There is no longer a need to escape the Valley’s heat at Camp Tontozona outside Payson, so the team can utilize its own meeting, training and weight rooms. For players, dorm rooms on campus are much more conducive to sleeping than a cabin in the forest. It adds up to what coach Dennis Erickson expects to be a more productive camp.

Interesting. I knew the building was a practice bubble, but I did not know it was actually that large or that expensive.  This is a big step for the program though, and something i feel like will help during recruiting as well.  The trip to Payson must have been awful too. No one wants to go up there.

Bass and linebacker Brandon Magee have reportedly been green-lighted by the NCAA freshman-eligibility clearinghouse, and ASU feels good about Guy's status. Receiver Kemonte Bateman remains a question mark. The Sun Devils typically have the eligibility of at least one veteran player hinging on summer grades. Although summer school ends on Aug.8 - with final grades due four days later - the Sun Devils could have their academic questions, for current and incoming players, ironed out as soon as today or Monday

 

Gulp. Bateman was our highly touted 4-star receiver recruit, one of the rivals.com top 150. And who knows what that vague reference to veteran players might mean. Lets just close our eyes and pray the grade gods are kind to our poor, academically challenged Sun Devils.