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ASU Football: 2016 spring football standouts

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Who left a good impression following spring football practices?

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

This spring, the media was limited to viewing around 30 minutes of the Arizona State Sun Devils' practices on average, but there were performances that were hard to ignore during those sessions.

Below, we list our standouts from the spring.

Top Performers

Kalen Ballage (RB), Demario Richard (RB), JoJo Wicker (DL)

Ballage and Richard will not only be relied upon to contribute in the stat sheet, but their leadership will be key, too. The offensive line unit will deploy four new starters, there will be a new quarterback under center, and the receiving unit has been under construction, while relatively experienced.

The duo seems ready, willing and capable of stepping into the role, and their consistent showings on the field only reinforce the belief they will be reliable come fall.

Meanwhile, defensively, Wicker seemed to dominate every practice. Paired alongside Tashon Smallwood (who also had a good spring), Wicker appears capable of an all-conference performance this year.

Coaches' Standouts

Koron Crump (LB), Evan Goodman (LT), Jalen Harvey (WR), Nick Ralston (RB), Jay Jay Wilson (TE)

Crump's motor is something that Graham noted as being his best trait, and has given the newcomer a shot at competing for a starting role (potentially at Devilbacker).

As the lone returner on the offensive line, Goodman has held his own this spring. Manning the position responsible for protecting his new quarterback's blindside, the redshirt senior's importance has never been greater than it is now, and his play in the spring suggest he's ready to take it on.

Harvey's ability was something we noted as being impressive prior to Graham publicly doing so. He looked good in the spring, and (I would assume) his rise has allowed ASU to test Tim White at cornerback.

Ralston is a difference-maker. Offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey intends on using plenty of two-back looks featuring Ballage and Richard, and having a good back like Ralston flash the capability of spelling the two will influence how the starters are used.

Spring has convinced me that Wilson has a chance to emerge as a key contributor in the ASU offense this year. Lindsey used and moved him all over the field, and while that speaks more to how important Kody Kohl's role will be, Wilson's size and athleticism is something that should be considered in the fall.

Personal Favorites

De'Chavon "Gump" Hayes (DB), Viliami Latu (DL)

Most find the transitioning of Hayes to defensive back as questionable, however I believethis is the best way in which to use him. At field corner, his athleticism and quick-twitch abilities have helped him grow into the role more comfortably. He's shown promise if anything.

Latu is one of the underrated members of the front-seven. His play could be the difference in determining whether the defensive line lives up to its billing, and in the spring he displayed the ability to patrol his end of the line of scrimmage with speed and tenacity.