Spring practice is just about three weeks away for Arizona State football. Not only does it mark the return of actual football, with the optimism that Coach Todd Graham has brought to the program, it has generated extra excitement among the Sun Devil faithful.
Sadly, as is the case with most football programs, ASU will not be playing with a full deck due to injuries. Doug Haller of The Arizona Republic published a list of the players that figure to be limited during, or miss entirely, the series of practices that begin on March 13th.
Players Who Will Miss Practice
RB Dante Alexander (ACL)
S Ezekiel Bishop (ACL)
WR Chris Coyle (shoulder)
WR Randy Knust (foot)
CB Devan Spann (shoulder)
Players Who Will Be Limited During Practice
RB Deantre Lewis (hamstring)
DL Corey Adams (calf muscle)
DL David Moala (hand)
TE Darwin Rogers (ankle)
The return of Lewis figures to see the most attention. As a freshman in 2010, Lewis was electric, becoming a home run threat in both the running and passing games, reeling off 10 plays from scrimmage over 20 yards. He missed all of 2011 recovering from a gunshot wound, but if he can return to 100%, ASU's offense will receive a massive boost.
The absences of Bishop and Spann during the practices may be the most troublesome. ASU's new defensive scheme will feature many nickel packages, and those talented defensive backs will be looked at this season to help rectify a secondary that proved to be the Sun Devils' Achilles' heel last season. Bishop in particular has a great opportunity, when his ACL injury has sufficiently healed. A dynamic and physical safety with great range, Bishop could make a major impact in a secondary that is replacing both starting safeties from last season.
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