This is the second pick for our Bye Week Awards for the Arizona State football team. These are essentially midseason awards, with our staff has naming recipients for several of them. Next up is our Bye Week Award for Newcomer of the Year.
In a season where injuries have overwhelmed the Arizona State Sun Devils and players who didn’t think would see the field to play have been forced to do so, it’s hard to pick one standout when it comes to being a “newcomer”.
It’s also difficult to pick one on the defensive side of things given the amount of defensive woes that have plagued the Sun Devils. Many newcomers have shined, however, given the timing of this article coming after the Washington State and Oregon games, junior linebacker Koron Crump has been selected as our Newcomer of the Year.
Having transferred from Fort Scott Community College (Kansas), Crump came into this season ranked the 39th best overall JUCO prospect as well as the sixth-best defensive end JUCO prospect by Rivals and he certainly have proved that on the field this season.
Crump is coming off a career-high of 10 tackles (five solo, five assisted) against the Ducks which brought his average up to about 2.5 tackles a game. In addition to that, after grabbing three sacks against Washington State and one versus Oregon, he now has nine total sacks in nine total games played. Aside from the fact that he averages a sack a game, what’s notable about that is all of his sacks are unassisted. Crump is essentially doing this all himself.
Looking past the stats, Crump is both very effective as an edge rusher on the outside as well as an inside rusher. Specifically, against, Washington State you could really see how well he can slip past offensive linemen and put pressure on the quarterback. Because of this, when ASU has been playing against high-tempo offenses, Crump seems to thrive and have better games.
This was obvious against Washington State, however when the Sun Devils took on Texas Tech and Cal, Crump had noticeably better games. Although a lot of points were conceded in both of those games it certainly would’ve been a lot more had it not been for Crump.
Having gotten sacks in both of those games, his ability to put pressure on the quarterback in hopes to either get a sack or force an error is a valuable asset to have when facing the type of quarterbacks that Arizona State has. He’s also done well as a gunner on the punt-team unit, too.
Of all the new faces the Sun Devils have featured this year, Koron Crump has shined the brightest.