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ASU Football: Fall practice notebook No. 3

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First night with pads

Andrew Palla/House of Sparky

The first night of pads for fall practice brought out new vibes, good and bad.

“I like the way they’re starting to figure things out. How things need to be done. The more they understand that, the more we can practice like this. There’s still a lot of things we need to cover. A lot of little things we need to do right. The effort is there,” Herm Edwards said immediately after practice.

His thought process shifted from the positive outlook to the realistic through the opening statement. Discussing that the guys that don’t bring that energy will just sit out on the sidelines. That emotions need to be kept in check even when struggling because the teams that are successful don’t falter in high-level situations.

Last Practice: Saturday, August 4

Next practice: Tuesday, August 7 (7:20 p.m.)

Music

Down For My N’s (C-Murder) Knuck If You Buck (Crime Mob)

Injury Update

Linebacker Koron Crump did make an appearance on Monday, although he simply just came out of the bubble midway through practice. As we know this situation is going to take its time.

Safety Jalen Harvey did position drills with the defensive backs early in practice. However, those drills didn’t have a ton of range of motion to them to test the hamstring. As he didn’t compete in any of the team sessions after.

Starting left guard Steven Miller was absent from practice. Edwards did clear up that he had a family emergency he had to attend to. In his place, Zach Robertson took the first team reps for the night.

What went on?

The star of the night, at least the one that received most of the attention, belonged to linebacker Merlin Robertson. The freshman took all the first team reps at outside linebacker, of course this could change tomorrow based off the never ending cycle of the linebacker core so far this year. He did make the most of it, including an interception off of Manny Wilkins on the first play of 7-on-7s.

Another freshman linebacker in Stanley Lambert got some work with the second team. Including shadowing Robertson and Jay Jay Wilson at the beginning of practice. Toward the end in the 11-on-11 period, he showed really impressive bend against second team right tackle Spencer Lovell on a pass rush.

“There’s a couple young ones, Robertson and of course Lambert, he’s kind of interesting that guy,” Edwards said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see some freshman play. This is competition and I’ve always told them that. Your eyes don’t lie when you watch practice.”

It also wasn’t Chase Lucas’ night. Early on in 1-on-1 sessions, his dueling partner N’Keal Harry got the better of him on a deep ball for a touchdown. Lucas slowly got up and stayed crouched for a while as he was visibly frustrated, Edwards came over and spoke to him about the play. Later on, Terrell Chatman got a step on him and Lucas ended up getting a bit handsy, which drew a flag on the play. Lucas proceeded to let out a loud, ‘no,’ as he saw the yellow marker.

Lucas spent a couple of minutes talking with defensive backs coach Tony White toward the end of the team period in the end of practice. But Lucas spent a lot of time with Edwards. After the 1-on-1 drills, Edwards pulled him aside before he switched to the other field, a lot of the talk had Edwards’ arms up in the air. Herm discussed what he said to Lucas after the Harry touchdown as well.

“Fundamentals. Chase is a talented player. He’s just learning the fundamentals. What he’s struggling with a little bit is his off-coverage,” he said. “When a guy closes his cushion, he stays in his peddle too long. And the guy is able to break his cushion down and the he’s trying to catch up. With a guy like N’Keal, big guy like that will wall you off. I talked to him about opening up within two yards and when he did it, it didn’t happen to him.”

Lucas wasn’t the only one that got work with Edwards. Herm broke out the backwards hat style in the beginning of practice to work with the DBs. The drill Edwards was trying to establish had them going for the ball and that there will never be pass interference called if they do. When Darien Comay got a flag against defending Curtis Hodges, Edwards pulled him aside to tell him to slow things down.

Junior college transfer Brandon Aiyuk also had quite the night. Earning a spot with the second team the last two practices, he showcased his speed. Aiyuk had a touchdown on a streak route from Dillon Sterling-Cole. Then later managed a 20-plus yard gain on a screen weaving in-and-out of defenders.

Wilkins took charge again as well. Running back Brock Sturges caught a swing pass and didn’t finish the play. Wilkins pointed to the end zone, yelling out that the freshman needed to keep running and go score that touchdown. There were also a few other words too, but those aren’t necessary to be included.

First-team offense

QB: Manny Wilkins

RB: Eno Benjamin, Isiah Floyd, Brock Sturges (limited)

WR: N’Keal Harry, Kyle Williams, Terrell Chatman / Frank Darby

TE: Tommy Hudson / Ceejhay French-Love,

OL: Casey Tucker (LT), Alex Losoya (LG), Cohl Cabral (C), Zach Robertson (RG), Quinn Bailey (RT)

Second-team offense

QB: Dillion Sterling-Cole

RB: Trelon Smith, A.J. Carter

WR: Curtis Hodges, Ryan Newsome, Brandon Aiyuk

TE: Jared Bubank / Mark Walton

TOL: Tyson Rising (LT), Roy Hemsley (LG), Cade Cote (C), Jarrett Bell (RG), Spencer Lovell (RT)

First-team defense

DL: Shannon Forman / Darius Slade, George Lea / Renell Wren, Jalen Bates

LB: Merlin Robertson, Khaylan Thomas, Malik Lawal

CB: Kobe Williams, Chase Lucas

Tillman: Tyler Whiley

S: Demonte King, Langston Frederick

Second-team defense

DL: Dougladson Subtyl, Jordan Hoyt, D.J. Davidson

LB: Jay Jay Wilson, Nick Ralston, Kyle Soelle

Tillman: Evan Fields

CB: Terin Adams, Darien Cornay

S: Joey Bryant, Aashari Crosswell

For other updates and videos from Monday’s practice, follow @BradyVernon on Twitter.