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ASU Football: DeAndre Scott switches positions, 'Gump' progressing

A defensive back makes the change to offense and Todd Graham reacts to Kirk Herbstreit picking his team to make the College Football Playoff. That, and more in Thursday's practice report.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It's no secret that coach Todd Graham has been hopped up on optimism lately, and Thursday's practice was no different.

"That was the best day we've had on offense and defense in all the time I've been here," Graham said. "Today was a great, great day."

While a few different things added to his excitement, nothing made him more eager than the addition of sophomore defensive back DeAndre Scott in the scout team backfield. This was the first time Scott ever took a snap at running back, and he received rave reviews.

"Oh my gosh," says Graham. "He found a home. He is just fearless running the football."

Herbstreit's Playoff Picks

In case you missed it earlier this morning, ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit picked Arizona State as one of his four College Football Playoff teams this season. As you can imagine, Graham was thrilled.

"Well, I've always been a fan of Herb's." Graham said. "And I'm an even bigger fan of him now. It tells you that people have respect for what you have done and where you're at."

For what it's worth, Herbstreit selected Florida State, Alabama, Michigan State, and UCLA to make last year's playoff.

Gump's Progress

After redshirting last season, running back/return specialist De'Chavon "Gump" Hayes has drawn a lot of attention in fall camp this year. Graham has been happy thus far with his progress in both facets of the game, but notes that some strides still have to be made.

"Overall, I've been very pleased," said Graham. "Obviously, him having a year to transition (from junior college) helped immensely. The biggest thing is just concentration and playing at a high level every day."

The focus issues seem to stem from ball security, both in terms of hanging onto the ball while on offense and catching it on kick and punt returns.

"We don't need distractions to the point where we drop the football," Graham says. "I told him any time he does not get his hand on the ball in returns, it is his own fault."


  • Armand Perry, Grant Martinez, Tim White, and Dillon Faamatau were all in green non-contact jerseys this morning.
  • Half of practice was held outside on the Bill Kajikawa practice fields for the second straight day in 90-degree heat. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-90s for next week's opener in Houston (although the roof at NRG Stadium could be closed).
  • The small portion of practice the media was allowed to be present for was the team's 11-on-11 tempo drill.
  • At least half of the plays run by the first team offense in the tempo drill were out of the zone read, with Mike Bercovici handing the ball off to Demario Richard the majority of the time.
  • A couple of the snaps out of the shotgun were shaky but both Bercovici and Manny Wilkins did a great job in handling them.
  • Antonio Longino continued to play at the Devilbacker position on Thursday.