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ASU Football: Graham frustrated with penalties, picture clearer at Devilbacker

See how the Sun Devils continued to move players around on defense.

Running backs go through agility drills
Running backs go through agility drills
Nick Krueger/House of Sparky

One of the hallmarks of Todd Graham at Arizona State has been the lack of penalties. He fully expects to build on that legacy headed into his third year.

"Too many penalties, we had nine penalties today," Graham said. " That's the most penalties we've ever had in a practice since I've been here."

He specifically called out center Nick Kelly for his holding penalties and linebacker Viliami Latu for jumping offsides. He noted it can be especially difficult working with the new guys, which will be expected to contribute on defense.

"What's really hard right now when I watch these guys I tell them, ‘ guys I know that you don't know what you're doing'" Graham said. " And it's really really hard to play fast when you don't know what you're doing."

It was the first day Graham placed a heavy emphasis on flaws but still kept a positive attitude that the team is headed in the right direction.

"I'm very pleased, they come out here and practice like a team that expects to win," Graham said.

De'Marieya Nelson at Devilbacker

The picture seems to be getting a lot clearer at Devilbacker. De'Marieya Nelson has practiced there every session because of his versatility. Today Graham confirmed that Nelson will be playing defense almost exclusively and called him, "Unblockable."

"Right now I think he'll play there (Devilbacker) and then have a package on offense," Graham said. "I see him being an every down guy on defense."

Viliami Latu is out of the picture at Devilbacker according to Graham, who said Latu will play defensive end.

"No question he is going to be in the starting rotation," Graham said.

Lloyd Carrington also seems to have a starting spot locked up judging by the way Graham spoke today.

"I never say much about Lloyd but man he has just really really improved and is really playing well," Graham said. "Now we've got to find another corner we've got Kweishi (Brown), Solomon (Means) competing for that."


Notes
  • First team defense: Linemen: Viliami Latu-Demetrius Cherry- Marcus Hardison Linebackers: Salamo Fiso (SAM), Laiu Moeakiola (SPUR), Antonio Longino (WILL), De'Marieya Nelson (Devil). Corners: Lloyd Carrington, Solomon Means. Safeties: Damarious Randall (field), Jordan Simone (boundary)
  • Deantre Lewis saw a majority of the first team reps at running back  Wide Receivers: Fred Gammage, Gary Chambers Tight end: Kody Kohl. Second team offense had Kalen Ballage at running back, Eric Lauderdale, Jalen Harvey and Tyler Whiley at wide receiver.
  • Second team defense: Linemen: Renell Wren- Tahson Smallwood- Connor Humphreys Linebackers: Christian Sam (SPUR), DJ Calhoun (WILL), Alani Latu (SAM), Marcus Washington (Devil) Corners: Kweishi Brown, Chad Adams, Safeties: DeAndre Scott, James Johnson
  • Green no-contact notables: Marcus Ball, Cameron Smith, Armand Perry, Jayme Otomewo
  • "(Tashon) Smallwood is a guy since we put on pads we were like 'wow'," Graham said. "We're everything we thought he was and maybe a little bit better."
  • "Laiu (Moeakiola) is a guy who has stuck out more to me more than any kid on the defense," Graham said.
  • Graham said offensive lineman Christian Westerman has, "A lot of work to do technique wise." Eric Lauderdale, "Needs to learn how to master his craft when it comes to route running."
  • Mo Latu did not participate in 11-on-11 but was available for special teams portion. Still no sign of Jaxon Hood.
  • Tempo portion of practice playlist that gets blasted over the loud speakers: "Turn Down For What"- DJ Snake and Lil John. "Hall of Fame"-The Script feat. will.i.am. "You Shook Me All Night Long"-AC/DC. "Sail"-awolnation "Ooh Ahh (My Life Be Like)"- Grits Feat. Toby Mac. "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That"-Robert Randolph & The Family Band. "Can't Hold Us"-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton.