Arizona State took practice inside the Dickey Dome on Monday morning with a two hour routine session to kick off the week. Following practice, head coach Herm Edwards and quarterback Jayden Daniels spoke to the media regarding where the team is at, how players are handling the heat, and how excited they are to take the field in front of a full Sun Devil Stadium in just 17 days.
Herm Edwards on Tempers Flaring
“Over the last two or three practices we’ve seen a little chippy-ness. You expect that to a degree, when you compete against your teammate everyday, there’s some disagreements. I told them that you gotta stay away from the emotional side of it, that gets you in trouble. It happens, it happens it football. I think guys are starting to realize that we’re getting closer to whittling it down to the 50 or so guys that are really going to help us win games. Guys are counting reps, and competing everyday. It brings a lot of anxiety.”
On the progression of the offense under Daniels
“Over the last five practices, you can see it’s clicking for Jayden, he’s doing the right things and leading. His ball placement has been better, he’s sneaky, he can run. When you rush him, he can slip away. I turn around and he’s always running somewhere. He’s getting way more comfortable, the offense as a whole is more comfortable. We’ve got some serious speed on this team, and it’s fun to watch.”
Defensive Line Depth
Following the injury to Jermayne Lole, questions about the depth of ASU’s defensive line have become relevant. Edwards addressed this specific group, citing its sneaky depth as a strength.
“Shannon (Foreman) is a guy who’s like a crescent wrench, he can play anywhere, inside, outside. First practice we had he intercepted the ball, so he makes plays. We’re going to find the best guys to rotate in there, with Omar (Norman-Lott), and a number of talented guys. Injuries are a part of this game, and you have to have the ability to adapt. This group does a pretty good job of doing that. On defense, not just on the line, you have to anticipate what’s going to happen before the ball is snapped. It’s about playing chess not checkers.”
BJ Green, a walk-on defensive tackle hailing from Georgia, has been impressive in practice of late. ASU football under Herm Edwards is no stranger to welcoming walk-ons, and ultimately rewarding them scholarships, if they make the most of their opportunity. The emergence of Green speaks to the depth of the line.
“If you’re a walk-on guy, you’re going to have an opportunity. We’ve given every year at least one or two scholarships to walk-on guys. He’s making the most of it, and that kid can just play. You watch him and you’re like ‘whoa.’ He’s got a lot of confidence.”
Jayden Daniels on the NIL, and his newest toy
“The NIL is really cool, a cool opportunity, I’ve seen other college athletes getting involved, and when they (Parker Jones and the Jones Auto Group) reached out and offered the car to me, I thought why not take advantage of it.”
On the progression of the Offense
“I told the defense that they won’t be holding it down for too long. That we’ll catch up. It’s about growing up and finding that rhythm, last year we didn’t really have that rhythm at all. I’ve seen it improve a lot this last week. Having a full spring practice and full practices now helps a lot. There’s a on of guys doing well, I’m hitting my stride with Ricky(Pearsall) for sure, Johnny (Wilson) as well. The whole receiver group is doing well, making strides and getting separation.”
On the Arizona heat
“It’s always tough, you can’t really prepare for how hot it is here if you’ve never been here. I tell everyone that they have to stay hydrated and just be responsible with stuff like that. It’s where you chose to go to school so you gotta deal with it.”
Edwards and Daniels are both ready to see Sun Devil Stadium full on September 2. Following a season that featured empty stadiums, and little to no fan interaction, the program as a whole is eager to welcome Sun Devil fans back home.
“This place, when it’s just after dark and you’re about to kickoff, it’s electric,” Edwards said. I like night games, and the fans here are always doing something fun. I’m very excited to see the place fill up.
“Our young and new guys have never played in front of a full stadium,” Daniels said. “We’re starting to see the parking lots full, people moving back in, and campus really feel normal again. I can’t wait to see this stadium full on September 2, we love playing in front of them and feed off their energy.”