Edmond Boateng only recorded one tackle in his first two games. Todd Graham has called on the Devilbacker to become a more active position through the first two games. He's been more visibly animated in practice pushing Boateng and Antonio Longino to perform better. Saturday against Colorado, it's seemingly a coin-toss to see who gets more snaps.
"I think Edmond and Antonio both will play quite a bit. I think Antonio is doing a little bit better so that's kind of where we're at," Graham said after practice Thursday.
De'Marieya Nelson began fall camp at the position, but Graham said they'll need him as a rusher off the end. Longino held down the starting spot for the next two weeks, before Graham gave Boateng his first chance at the position a week before the Weber State game. The early enrollee and JUCO transfer was given the starting Devilbacker spot on the depth chart, but Longino may play more Saturday.
Longino ran with the first team at practice Wednesday and again got first team reps Thursday in defensive walkthrough, but still split reps with Boateng.
"He (Boateng) and Longino will both play," Associate Head Coach Paul Randolph said. "Boateng might also play some (defensive) end."
Another position worth watching will be the defensive three-technique. Graham mentioned that after a strong showing last week, Viliami Latu might split some reps there with Tashon Smallwood.
High praise for Colorado wide receiver
The biggest threat for Colorado on the offensive side of the ball in 2014 has been Nelson Spruce. He has caught 17 balls for 249 yards and four touchdowns through two games.
Todd Graham is fully aware of what Spruce brings to the table.
"He's a guy you have to stop," Graham said. "He's there go-to guy, a great double cut guy, a guy that can really gurt you. He's very physical and will go get the ball."
- Carlos Mendoza was still in a green jersey, but shadowed at third team WILL linebacker behind DJ Calhoun and Christian Sam during defensive walkthrough.
- Defensive walkthrough defense: Linemen: Marcus Hardison-Jaxon Hood-Tashon Smallwood- Edmond Boateng Linebackers: DJ Calhoun (WILL), Salamo Fiso (SAM), Laiu Moeakiola (SPUR), Edmond Boateng (DEVIL). Corners: Armand Perry, Lloyd Carrington Safeties: Jordan Simone (boundary), Damarious Randall (field).
- I put Boateng down as starter, but he split snaps with Longino almost equally. Same can be said for Viliami Latu and Smallwood
- ASU also worked some short yardage situations with Marcus Washington in at Devilbacker
- The defense worked on defending the exact same swinging gate play that ASU scored the two-point conversion on against Colorado.