This week's Milestone Monday features Sun Devil safety Alden Darby. Darby returns for his senior season as a team leader and is a well-known ball hawk. With that being said, three House of Sparky staff members debate whether or not Darby can set a career high with four interceptions this season.
Kerry Crowley: I think that Alden Darby will lead the Arizona State defense in interceptions this season and I feel confident that he can snag four. Darby has had three in each of the last two seasons (including my personal favorite against USC last year) and he's developed a reputation as a ball hawk.
The Sun Devils will have a stout run defense, and teams will take their gambles in the air. When they do pass the football, the Arizona State defensive line brings plenty of pressure and forces quarterbacks into bad decisions. Who's there to play center field when the pressure comes? That's Alden Darby and I wouldn't be surprised to see his total skyrocket to five or six picks this season.
Ryan Bafaloukos: I would agree with Kerry. The Pac-12 is a pass heavy league with some excellent quarterbacks that like to throw the ball around. The Sun Devils boast one of the best defensive lines in the country so I believe most teams will be forced to throw on the ASU defense. Darby is a complete ballhawk who is all over the field. I see him being in enough plays to hit four interceptions.
Cody Ulm: This our first Milestone Monday that seems like a slam dunk to me. With Darby's unparalleled work ethic and all the time he puts in, I think he'd be mighty disappointed if he didn't set some new career-highs this season. Plus, you have to factor in how important it is that the team has been in this defensive system for two seasons now. That's going to allow players like Darby to compete with less hesitation and more instinctive ability. And that can only lead to more interceptions. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if he hawks in six or more. I'm really expecting a national attention-grabbing breakout campaign from the senior safety.
Kerry Crowley: As I said, I think Darby can definitely achieve this feat, but I disagree with Cody that this is a slam dunk. Interceptions are such a hard statistic to predict and each year it seems like there's a group of players that come out of nowhere and snag five or six. However, Darby's got immense talent, will put his body on the line to make plays, and anticipates the football well so I think he should get this done.
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