Coach Todd Graham says defense came out ahead by limiting big plays during ASU’s first spring scrimmage on Wednesday. Jeff Metcalfe/azcentral sports
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Arizona State football completed its sixth spring practice Friday at Sun Devil Stadium with nine practices remaining over the next three weeks. The spring game is April 15.
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ASU football coach Todd Graham discusses hiring Danny White and Dave Christensen as consultants. Jeff Metcalfe/azcentral sports
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Arizona State football has completed a third of spring practice, five of its allowed 15 practices.
Credit: Jeff Metcalfe, Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic
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Arizona State football began the second week of spring practice Monday. The Sun Devils also will practice Wednesday and have a closed scrimmage Friday this week.
Credit: Jeff Metcalfe/Arizona Republic
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Wide receivers Ryan Newsome and John Humphrey – transfers to Arizona State from Texas and Oklahoma – discuss playing as sophomores in 2017 after sitting out last season. Credit: Jeff Metcalfe, David Wallace/Arizona Republic
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Quarterback Blake Barnett, a transfer from Alabama, is in his first year at Arizona State. He is competing with four returners to be the starting QB.
Credit: Jeff Metcalfe, Rob Schumacher, Nick Oza, Thomas Hawthorne/Arizona Republic
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Arizona State head coach Todd Graham discusses the first day of football spring practice on March 14, 2017 at the Kajikawa Practice Facility in Tempe, Ariz. By Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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ASU football begins sixth season under coach Todd Graham with five new assistant coaches. (Jeff Metcalfe/azcentral sports)
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Transfer quarterback Blake Barnett talks about coming to ASU to compete for the starting job on Wednesday. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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Arizona State offensive coordinator Billy Napier discusses the first day of football spring practice on March 14, 2017 at the Kajikawa Practice Facility in Tempe, Ariz. By Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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ASU football coach Todd Graham talks about the challenge of hiring “good people” and losing them to other schools entering ASU’s 2017 season on Wednesday. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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New ASU offensive coordinator Billy Napier talks about the culture at ASU and working for Todd Graham on Wednesday. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins talks about how his injuries frustrated him last season on Wednesday. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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New ASU defensive coordinator Phil Bennett talks about his friendship with head coach Todd Graham and his thoughts going into the 2017 season. Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports
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ASU head football coach Todd Graham talks about the two quarterback recruits, Blake Barnett and Ryan Kelley, on Signing Day on Wednesday. David Wallace/azcentral sports
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ASU head football coach Todd Graham talks about top running back recruit Eno Benjamin on Signing Day on Wednesday. David Wallace/azcentral sports
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ASU head football coach Todd Graham talks about ASU’s signees on National Signing Day on Wednesday. David Wallace/azcentral sports
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Here’s a look at some of the top underclassmen planning on entering the 2017 NFL Draft.
USA TODAY Sports
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Head coaches in the college football playoff won’t be the only coaches reaping the benefits.
USA TODAY Sports
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The early front-runner became the first Louisville Cardinal to hoist the prestigious award.
USA TODAY Sports
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Dan Bickley: Let’s not forget, this was never a season of high expectations. But clearly, Todd Graham needs to change some things. Video: azcentral sports
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Todd Graham talks about ASU’s 56-35 loss to Arizona in the Territorial Cup. (Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports)
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azcentral sports’ Doug Haller and Paola Boivin discuss Arizona’s 56-35 beatdown on ASU in the Territorial Cup. (Thomas Hawthorne/azcentral sports)
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At its annual Legends Luncheon during Homecoming week Friday, ASU honored its 1986 football team, which won the school’s first Pac-10 title and beat Michigan in the 1987 Rose Bowl. John Cooper, ASU coach from 1985-87, is being inducted into the ASU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Video: Jeff Metcalfe/Arizona Republic
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Todd Graham speaks after ASU holds first spring scrimmage
ASU football completes second week of spring practice
Todd Graham on new consultants White, Christensen
ASU football completes fifth spring practice
ASU football begins second week of spring practice
ASU WRs Ryan Newsome and John Humphrey discuss eligibility
ASU QB Blake Barnett on starting spring
Todd Graham on opening of ASU spring practice
ASU football opens spring practice
Transfer QB Blake Barnett on coming to ASU to compete
Billy Napier discusses first day of ASU practice
Todd Graham talks staffing challenges, 2017 season
ASU offensive coordinator Billy Napier talks working for Graham
ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins on last season’s injuries
ASU DC Phil Bennett on friendship with Graham, 2017 season
ASU coach Todd Graham on QBs Barnett, Kelley
ASU coach Todd Graham on top RB recruit Eno Benjamin
ASU coach Todd Graham on National Signing Day
Top underclassmen entering the NFL draft early
College Football Playoff is lucrative for assistant coaches
Lamar Jackson wins 2016 Heisman Trophy
Strictly Bickley: It’s the right call for ASU to stick with Todd Graham
Todd Graham talks about ASU’s loss to Arizona
Doug Haller, Paola Boivin discuss the Territorial Cup aftermath
ASU honors 1987 Rose Bowl football team
Arizona State held its ninth spring practice Friday at Sun Devil Stadium, completing the third of five weeks.
Coach Todd Graham opening statement: Did not make one.
Media viewing period: 28 minutes.
Limited: QB Bryce Perkins, S Marcus Ball, CB Kareem Orr, OL Cade Cote, LB Malik Lawal, LB DJ Calhoun, DL Jalen Bates, DB Dasmond Tautalatasi, WR Terrell Chatman, WR N’Keal Harry, RB Kalen Ballage.
Out: S Armand Perry, QB Brady White, WR Cam Smith, LB Drew McIntyre.
Coach Todd Graham summed up his motivation to rebound from two straight losing seasons (11-14 overall record) this way: “It’s too much work not to win.
“A lot of these guys have been a part of when we were successful, so that makes you hungry. There’s no doubt we’ve got some explosive players on both sides of the ball. Just continue to work fundamentally to get better, but I’ve seen marked improvement in those areas that needed to get better and the secondary is one I’m impressed with.”
Napier on QBs
Offensive coordinator Billy Napier said “we got pretty good quarterback play” in the first spring scrimmage Wednesday. “When we get explosive play opportunities, we’ve got to cash them in. We didn’t necessarily do that on Wednesday, we did make a few more today. But more than anything taking care of the football, putting ourselves in position where we can create some big plays, and we’re making progress.”
Pressed for more details on the quarterbacks, Napier said, “Manny (Wilkins) was really efficient. Really high completion percentage and took what the defense gave me. We need to improve our operation, the time between the play call and the ball being snapped. That’s an entire group, but the quarterback has got to own that part. I’m pleased with the decision making and how they’re picking up the concepts. We need to continue to develop depth,” with Bryce Perkins and Brady White limited during spring. “We’ve got plenty of quality players, and I think before it’s all said and done, we’ll have a guy that can put us in position to win football games.”
Ball seeks big finish
Safety Marcus Ball has been limited during spring for health reasons and therefore somewhat off the radar.
But he started eight games last season and was the second-leading tackler with 64, including 10 against Colorado. The 6-foot-2 senior, if healthy, brings experience and and physicality that could keep him atop the depth chart even with an influx of defensive back talent.
“I’m a pretty versatile guy, whether it’s down safety or Spur, I’m here to get the job done and service the team,” Ball said. “In my head, I tell myself, ‘Marcus, you haven’t done enough.’ I like to tell myself that because I feed off that. But last year is definitely a great start to a long career, especially at the next level. You come off a season like that, you’re a guy that’s getting a little bit of attention. It gives me motivation and confidence to come back and be an even better player.”
Ball is embracing the message of new defensive coordinator Phil Bennett.
“He’s a great coach,” Ball said. “He’s going to push you and get you to where you want to get but don’t know how to get. He wants to show you how to get to that next level. He criticizes everybody (in film sessions), but it’s positive criticism. It’s teaching criticism. He’s just a good teacher. He stays on you tough, but he’s going to love you twice as much. Nothing is ever personal. He wants you to tap into that untapped potential.
“The guy has been coaching for 40 years. He’s going to help us out a lot.”
Graham said of Ball, “I expect him to be a senior leader and when we put him out there, it’ll be a better version (of defense) than what we had in the first scrimmage. He has a lot of experience and was solid for us last year.”
PAC-12 FOOTBALL POWER RANKINGS: Arizona, ASU flip spots
The Sun Devils will practice at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Kajikawa practice fields. All practices are closed to the public other than the spring game April 15.
Contact Jeff Metcalfe at 602-444-8053 or at [email protected].