We learned some things Saturday night during Arizona State football’s second preseason practice.

First, that coach Herm Edwards is not a fan of practice skirmishes.

Second, when Edwards says ASU has improved its speed from spring until now, the prime early example is running back Isaiah Floyd, a junior college transfer.

Second day of school not so fun

Edwards, in his first season at ASU, understands that the second day of practice is like the second day of school.

“First day of school it’s all fun,” Edwards said. “Second day of school, they give you homework and it’s not a lot of fun.”

The heat doesn’t help – it still was 100 when the Sun Devils finished at 9:30 p.m. – but for Edwards it’s also not an excuse for tempers to flare, which they did on multiple occasions with players still practicing in shorts.

“We saw a fight break out,” Edwards said. “I told them there was three guys that got ejected tonight (had it been a game). If you really want to fight, go in the bubble and fight and don’t mess up my practice.

“We can’t function like that. I’ve been in a lot of heated moments on the practice field and things like that happen. It’s not great. They don’t know the rules yet, but when the team left the sideline, half the defense got ejected. We’d have been playing with eight guys. I might have had to play, and I don’t want to play. My body hurts. You’ve got to tell them the truth.”


ASU coach Herm Edwards compares second day of practice to second day of school — not as much fun.
Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral sports

Easing running back concern 

Edwards saw some good spurts during the practice starting with Floyd, who showed not only speed but cuts, elusiveness and pass-catching ability.

The 5-7 sophomore out of City College of San Francisco was among ASU’s February signees after Edwards and his staff went to work supplementing recruits who signed in December.

“(No.) 31 keeps showing up,” Edwards said. “Remember I said that. We’ll see where he’s at when we start the season. I know who trained him when he wasn’t here, a guy I went to school with at Cal. He’s been giving me so me information every week how he was doing so it’s not surprising. We haven’t put pads on, maybe it’s just imagination. But he’s got some qualities we can use.”

Floyd rushed for 1,797 yards (163.4 per game) and 21 touchdowns in his only junior college season after grayshirting in 2016. He comes to ASU with three years of eligibility at a moment when ASU must replace departing backs Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage.

“First practice (Friday) was a little rough,” Floyd said. “I came in a little rusty, but I did a great job of forgetting and next day coming strong.”

Floyd decommitted from New Mexico in part because of Edwards.

“Coach Herm Edwards is a great coach, great mentor, great person in general and I’m blessed to have him as my head coach,” Floyd said. “When I found out Coach Herm Edwards was the coach and the next thing I know he’s calling me, it doesn’t get any better than that. My dad grew up watching Herm Edwards and is definitely a big fan.”

Here’s how Floyd describes what he brings to an ASU running-back group that includes sophomores Eno Benjamin and Trelon Smith:

“I bring quickness and I can make a lot of people miss,” Floyd said. “I’m also really versatile. A lot of people underestimate my strength. With that combination and learning from coach (John) Simon, we could be a really great team this year.”

Early depth chart 

Some players are not full go health-wise yet, including wide receiver Ryan Jenkins and safety Jalen Harvey, and there is a lot of movement at positions particularly on defense to see who can do what and where.

“There’s a lot of competition going on,” Edwards said. “You’ll see guys at certain spots being moved around and guys are in and out. We’re trying to find out what guys do well then give them a role. Everyone knows about the starting 11, but if you’re going to be a good defense you’ve got to play with 20-plus guys. Some young guys can help us, and we’ve got to find roles for them.”

That being said, here is an early look at the (far-from-set) depth chart:


QB: Manny Wilkins, Dillon Sterling-Cole.

RB: Eno Benjamin, Trelon Smith, Isaiah Floyd.

WR: N’Keal Harry, Ryan Jenkins.

WR: Kyle Williams, Ryan Newsome.

WR: Terrell Chatman, Frank Darby.

TE: Tommy Hudson, Ceejhay French-Love, Jared Bubak.

LT: Casey Tucker, Tyson Rising.

LG: Alex Losoya, Roy Hemsley.

C: Cole Cabral, Cade Cote.

RG: Steve Miller, Jarrett Bell.

RT: Quinn Bailey, Zach Robertson.


E: Shannon Forman,  Darius Slade.

N: Renell Wren, Jordan Hoyt.

E: Jalen Bates, Doug Subtyl.

LB: Kyle Soelle, Jay Jay Wilson.

LB: Nick Ralston, Khaylan Thomas, Merlin Robertson. 

LB: Malik Lawal, Koron Crump.

Rover: Demonte King, Langston Frederick.

Tillman: Evan Fields, Tyler Whiley.

Rover: Joey Bryant, Jalen Harvey, Dominique Harrison.

CB: Kobe Williams, Terin Adams.

CB: Chase Lucas, Darien Cornay.

Special teams

P: Michael Sleep-Dalton.

K: Brandon Ruiz, John O’Brien.

Up next

ASU is off Sunday then returns to Kajikawa practice fields from 7:20-9:30 p.m. Monday. Fans are allowed to watch all of practice unless the team moves indoors to the Dickey Dome, which Edwards does not plan to do unless weather dictates.