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ASU Football: Regular Season Practice Begins

News and notes from ASU's Friday morning practice. The scout team received additional repetitions, while Joe Morris and Cameron Smith are still wearing no-contact jerseys and more.

Anthony Jones is back in action after spending a few days in a green no-contact jersey.
Anthony Jones is back in action after spending a few days in a green no-contact jersey.
Stephen Dunn

Friday morning signaled the end of fall camp and the beginning of game-week training, despite ASU's Week One bye. After one full year of experience, coach Todd Graham decided to tweak some practice plans.

Graham doesn't like players standing around and watching, so he decided the scout team will see more time on the gridiron. There are two outdoor fields outside the Dickey Dome, and Graham decided to pair the first and second units together while the threes and fours (scouts) workout separately.

In the inaugural season under Graham, the procedure was significantly different. Graham made the change because he believes he needs to develop the reserves for the future.

By doing so, the depth chart really began to take shape. Among the numerous surprise decisions, safety Ezekiel Bishop moved from the second unit to scout team which caught most media members off guard. Throughout fall camp, Bishop seemed to be in the mix for playing time in certain situations, but that presumption may be incorrect. True freshman James Johnson took Bishop's spot behind converted corner Robert Nelson.

Other Practice Notes

  • Camp Tontozona standout, linebacker Matt Rowe, didn't do enough to slide into the second string. Rowe could climb the ranks once injuries occur, and still possesses plenty of time to make his mark as a redshirt freshman.
  • New wide receivers Joe Morris and Cameron Smith are still rocking the green no-contact jerseys. Morris expects to be back at full strength sooner rather than later, and participated in ball security drills with the rest of the unit. Backup tight end Darwin Rodgers is still dinged up and remains sidelined.
  • Redshirt senior linebacker Anthony Jones got the green light to take off his green jersey. The local Chandler, Arizona product will provide experienced depth at linebacker.
  • Chris Young stayed at the SPUR linebacker position for the second straight practice. However, Young may move around depending on matchups, granting defensive coordinator Paul Randolph flexibility.
  • Regarding special teams, Zane Gonzalez continues to be the solution to ASU's field goal problems. Dom Vizzare and Matt Haack each attempted numerous rugby style punts on Friday as well.
Up next

The weekend doesn't mean the Sun Devils get time off this early in the season. Taylor Kelly and company practice from 8:30-11 a.m. Saturday morning and follow that up with a practice on Sunday afternoon.