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ASU Football: Sun Devils officially begin prep for opener against Northern Arizona

Monday's practice marked the Arizona State Sun Devils official start of preparation for their season-opening matchup against Northern Arizona on Sept. 3. The session started on the field outside of the Verde Dickey Dome with the players wearing shells (helmets and shoulder pads).

Media was permitted to view stretching, followed by three drill periods before the team headed inside the facility for full-team, 11-on-11 work. Period A consisted of takeaway drills, Period B focused on pursuit, and Period C included tempo and special teams work.

Players in Green

Linebackers Salamo Fiso, Khaylan Thomas and Carlos Mendoza, running back Kalen Ballage, receiver Jalen Harvey, offensive linemen Marshal Nathe and Tyson Rising, and defensive backs Dasmond Tautalatasi, Maurice Chandler and James Johnson were sporting non-contact jerseys today. Most were able to take part in individual drills.

Offensive lineman A.J. McCollum was out of a green contact jersey, and was in pads on Monday.

Tempo

During tempo, two offensive units worked through a series without facing the defense, with each drive starting around their own 35-yard line. Here's how the offense lined up:

First Team

OL: Evan Goodman (LT), Sam Jones (LG), Stephon McCray (C), Quinn Bailey (RG), Zach Robertson (RT)

QB: Manny Wilkins

RB: Demario Richard

WR/TE: Ellis Jefferson (X), Tim White (slot), Kody Kohl (TE, slot), Cameron Smith (Z)

Second Team

OL: Steven Miller (LT), Connor Humphreys (LG), Cohl Cabral (C), Cade Cote (RG), Mason Walter (RT)

QB: Brady White

RB: Nick Ralston

WR/TE: N'Keal Harry (X), Fred Gammage (slot), Raymond Epps (TE, slot), Jalen Harvey (Z)

Special Teams

Texas transfer Ryan Newsome and freshman receiver Kyle Williams were back fielding punts during the special teams portion.

NFL at Practice

The Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins had scouts in attendance at Monday's practice.

The Dolphins scout was former ASU cornerback Lenny McGill, who played for the Sun Devils from 1990-94, and earned an All-Pac-10 honorable mention during his senior season. He played in the NFL for six years before beginning his scouting career in 2000.

Quotes

The Sun Devils scrimmaged last week which lasted “around 130 snaps.” Head coach Todd Graham discussed his takeaways.

  • “Lots of newcomer guys stood out to me.” - Graham said that running backs Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage and wide receiver Tim White were held out of the scrimmage, allowing other guys to get an opportunity to play in a live setting.
  • Freshman receiver Kyle Williams scored a touchdown, according to Graham. Thus far, Williams been a standout in fall camp, and Graham said he was “someone who’s exceeded our expectation.”
  • J’Marcus Rhodes, Marcus Ball, Renell Wren, Jalen Bates, George Lea and D.J. Calhoun were players Graham named who also stood out.
  • “I like that all of our running backs are different.” With Ballage and Richard out, Nick Ralston and Jacom Brimhall saw reps and stood out in the backfield.