If you watched Arizona State football practice on Sunday morning, you wouldn’t know the team was battling through 100-degree heat in full pads. You’d see a jubilant bunch, bouncing with the loud music thumping through the Kajikawa practice facility speakers, seemingly unphased by the triple digit sweltering sun.
The Sun Devils have a pep in their step, and as they ramp up towards the September 2 opener vs Southern Utah, the excitement is palpable. Herm Edwards, lamenting that he would have to attend afternoon mass following the team’s morning practice Sunday, spoke to media following the session.
“I’m sorry to bring you folks out here on a Sunday,” the fourth-year head coach said. “The way it works out, today is a Tuesday for us knowing we play next Thursday. It was a good long practice today. It was HOT, which is a good thing. Our football stamina needs to improve, which is where I think a lot of teams are at in college football right now. For the most part we got a lot done today and I’m looking forward to going back out tomorrow.”
Earning his place
ASU football under Herm Edwards has been a prosperous landing spot for walk-on players hoping to earn a scholarship. Another example of this sentiment came over the weekend, when it was announced that tight end John Stivers had earned the honor. Stivers is the latest of numerous Sun Devil walk ons to be recognized by Edwards and his staff.
“He got here due to the fact that he knew somebody who knew me,” Edwards said. “He’s arrived and become a tremendous part of our football team. The leadership and camaraderies that he brings to the tight end room is really valuable.”
Edwards added that he may have had an ulterior motive in providing the Northern California native with a scholarship.
“His father was also just named the CEO at Pebble Beach golf club… do I need to say anything else?”
Pregame Rituals Near
Never one to shy away from the emotional and dramatic side of sports, Edwards shared how a simple embrace before kickoff lets him know that it’s game time.
“Standing on the 50-yard line right before kickoff, and getting a hug from two or three guys.” Edwards said. “One of them was always John Lynch. I would tell him ‘I can’t play anymore, but you’re going to take a little bit of me with you out there. I’m always going to hug the quarterback, and there’s a couple other guys, if they don’t hug me, they can’t go on the field! It’s the little things like that for me.”
If there’s one thing Edwards hates, it’s unnecessary penalties. He reiterated the disdain Sunday, talking about how this year’s team will prioritize playing a clean game and avoiding mental mistakes that lead to laundry on the field.
“I don’t like fouls, I just don’t. Because it’s a lack of concentration a lot of times. We can play passionate, but when you get to the emotional side of the meter, you get in trouble.”
In the now short period of practice that is available to media, I tallied all players present besides those with previously disclosed injuries. Backup quarterback Trenton Bourguet was sporting a walking boot and going through dry runs with his fellow QBs, but his status is nothing to worry about come next week according to Edwards.