A few new faces continue to impress
On a team filled with position battles, the new Sun Devils to the roster keep putting in solid performances at the Bill Kajikawa practice fields.
Last Practice: Tuesday, August 7
Next practice: Friday, August 10 (7:20 p.m.)
A Milli (Lil’ Wayne) Ride Wit Me (Nelly)
Nothing with linebacker Koron Crump has changed, as he was out for stretches and nothing else.
Defensive back Evan Fields, along with wide receivers Ryan Jenkins, Terrell Chatman and Frank Darby all headed inside the Dickey Dome after warm ups. Neither Chatman nor Darby, who have split first team reps all fall, participated in practice.
Tight end Tommy Hudson and running back Brock Sturges didn’t appear for the team as well. Meanwhile, wide receiver Curtis Hodges returned after missing practice on Tuesday.
Jalen Harvey finally returned to the safety position when the offense and defense squared off, he run with the third team defense.
Herm Edwards worked with the defensive backs once again at the start of practice. And things of course are serious whenever Herm puts his hat backwards. The backs were attempting to work on ball control as they work along side one another.
Antonio Pierce had his linebackers go through a marathon of different parts. Starting with one of the sleds, to the other, working on the group of backers hitting the dummies simultaneously. They continued later on pushing the moving sleds one on one. Freshman Merlin Robertson showcased his strength that has helped him earn a first team spot at outside backer the past few practices.
What went on?
The junior receiver in Brandon Aiyuk filled in with the first team, with Chatman and Darby watching from the sideline. Aiyuk once again had a great night at practice. Taking a screen down the field, dodging his defensive teammates with ease. He reeled in a deep touchdown from quarterback Kurt Walding, Aiyuk beat Jalen Harvey by a large gap for the easy score. He also won a highly contested jump ball from Manny Wilkins against Terin Adams.
Despite not winning that jump ball, Adams once again also had a good night. After having a pick on Tuesday, he intercepted a pass from Walding on a diving play against a short curl. Throw in a few tackles, and the San Francisco City College transfer is starting to make a name for himself.
Walding saw the ups and downs on Thursday, but he did end practice on a high note with a very nice pass on a crosser to receiver Angel Ruiz. Walding and Ruiz connected in perfect stride. Now, talking about a third string quarterback may be odd, but with Ryan Kelley still not throwing, an injury to Wilkins or Dillon Sterling-Cole could throw him into the fire.
The running game saw some big holes as well. The left side of Casey Tucker and Alex Losoya opened up a lane for a big gain for Eno Benjamin. Cohl Cabral led the way for a nice pickup for Isiah Floyd. And Trelon Smith went the distance on a run to the left side, Benjamin on the sideline followed him step for step. The team also started to use a two back set, going back to the days of Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard.
Returning to the screen to Aiyuk, that is a play that offensive coordinator Rob Likens and wide receiver coach Charlie Fisher worked hard on Thursday. They also worked on a shorter slant type play, with Fisher trying to get the guys to turn up the field faster. When the younger guys were having trouble with it, who came to help. Manny Wilkins. The quarterback lined showcasing the break he and Fisher were trying to get out of the wide receivers.
QB: Manny Wilkins
RB: Eno Benjamin, Isiah Floyd, Trelon Smith (Limited)
WR: N’Keal Harry, Kyle Williams, Brandon Aiyuk
TE: Ceejhay French-Love,
OL: Casey Tucker (LT), Alex Losoya (LG), Cohl Cabral (C), Steven Miller (RG), Quinn Bailey (RT)
QB: Dillion Sterling-Cole
RB: Trelon Smith, A.J. Carter
WR: Curtis Hodges, Ryan Newsome, Geordon Porter / Keith Davis
TE: Jared Bubank / Mark Walton (Both got first team reps)
TOL: Tyson Rising (LT), Roy Hemsley (LG), Cade Cote (C), Jarrett Bell (RG), Zach Robertson
DL: Shannon Forman / Darius Slade, George Lea / Renell Wren, Jalen Bates
LB: Merlin Robertson, Nick Ralston, Jay Jay Wilson
CB: Kobe Williams, Chase Lucas
Tillman: Tyler Whiley
S: Demonte King, Langston Frederick
DL: Dougladson Subtyl, D.J. Davidson / George Lea, Jordan Hoyt
Tillman: Dasmond Tautalatasi
CB: Terin Adams, Darien Cornay
S: Joey Bryant, Aashari Crosswell
For other updates and videos from Thursday’s practice, follow @BradyVernon on Twitter.