After taking down Florida State (20-14) on New Year’s Eve, the Sun Devils had roughly two months before spring ball was taking place. Now, it’s time for Herm Edwards and the rest of his coaching staff to get their players ready for another season of Sun Devil football. Practice was held in the Verde Dickey Dome and was held to the general public.
Next Practice: Thursday, February 25
With fresh faces and jersey swaps occurring over the offseason, it took a few minutes to pick out the players who weren’t practicing or taking things lightly on day one. Senior cornerback Jack Jones was wearing a green jersey, he took every rep possible as the opposite starting corner to Chase Lucas. Redshirt freshman running back Demetrious Flowers was excused from today’s practice for personal reasons, according to head coach Herm Edwards. Sophomore quarterback Jayden Daniels was on the sidelines for the first practice as he had class. Edwards made a joke that he had entered the portal to mess around with the media and fans in attendance.
What Went On
Anything and everything you can think of happened today. Both sides of the ball showcased their new playbooks with new coordinators: Zak Hill (OC), Antonio Pierce (Co-DC) and Marvin Lewis (Co-DC).
With a few Sun Devils at the NFL Scouting Combine, ASU offensively had to look for replacements and today was the first day for them.
Freshman running backs DeaMonte Trayanum and Daniyel Ngata will look to compete with redshirt sophomore A.J. Carter and Flowers for the starting role. Both freshman running backs are two of the 12 freshmen already on campus, looking to make an impact.
The offensive line looks to replace three starters and they got some help out of the portal. Grad transfer Kellen Diesch (Texas A&M) look to help the young offensive line that is ready to take the next step.
At the wide receiver group, senior Frank Darby returns as the leading pass catcher for the team. Other wide receivers will look at spring practice as their opportunity to get playing time in Hill’s system.
On the defensive side, a 4-3 system was seen under Pierce and Lewis at the helm. The defense looked sharp in 11-on-11’s and even caused a few turnovers. Junior linebacker Merlin Robertson was seen wearing the ManDrake helmet for his performance against Florida State.
Towards the end of practice, all three kickers (Crisitian Zendejas, Josh Plaster, Jack Luckhurst ) took turns in various spots of the field to attempt field goals.
Zendejas went 0-2, Plaster was 2-2 and Luckhurst was 3-3. Zendejas on his first attempt barely missed but he took out one of the lights in the dome.
Depth Chart from day one as players consistently rotated:
QB: Ethan Long, Trenton Bourguet (2nd team)
RB: A.J. Carter/DeaMonte Trayanum, Daniyel Ngata (2nd team)
FB: Case Hatch
WR: Frank Darby, Ricky Pearsall, Geordon Porter, Andre Johnson (2nd team), Brandon Pierce (2nd team), Jordan Kerley (2nd team)
TE: Curtis Hodges/Nolan Matthews
OL: Kellen Diesch, Jarrett Bell, Ben Scott, Donovan West, LaDarius Henderson
2nd team OL: Spencer Lovell, Cody Shear, uncertain today, Roman DeWys, Ralph Frias
DL: Michael Matus, D.J. Davidson, Jermayne Lole Shannon Forman, Stanley Lambert (2nd team), T.J. Pesefea (2nd team), Corey Stephens (2nd team), Amiri Johnson (2nd team)
LB: Merlin Robertson, Darien Butler, Kyle Soelle, Elijah Juarez (2nd team), Jordan Banks (2nd team), Caleb McCullough
DB: Chase Lucas, Jack Jones, Evan Fields, Aashari Crosswell, Jordan Clark (2nd team), Timarcus Davis (2nd team), Cam Phillips (2nd team), Keon Markham (2nd team), Kejuan Markham (2nd team) K.J Jarrell (2nd team)
Kicker: Zendejas, Plaster, Luckhurst
Punter: Kevin Macias
Returners: Jones, Pierce, Nick Johnson
ASU’s second spring practice will begin tomorrow at 10 a.m. and in tomorrow’s practice, there will be more updates as to where player are in the depth chart.