College football teams aren’t allowed to have two defenders wearing the same number, but an exception was made for ASU for Monday’s practice.
Redshirt senior defensive back Osahon Irabor wore the honorary Pat Tillman No. 42 practice jersey for the first time this fall camp, joining senior safety Alden Darby, who has been wearing it since Sunday.
This is the second time Irabor has worn the white and brown camouflage jersey, the other being in the spring.
Coach Todd Graham praised Irabor’s leadership in the secondary throughout fall camp, and it is possible that Irabor could be named as one of the team’s captains before the Sept. 5 season opener against Sacramento State.
“He’s brought it in every rep, every day,” Graham said. “He’s leading by example. There’s no question No. 4 (Darby) does that every day, and Irabor has done it at this point. It’s harder to keep those jerseys than it is to get them.”
Awarding the Tillman jersey is one way Graham keeps his leaders engaged. The team also established a leadership committee over the summer to mentor the newcomers and prepare them for the challenges of the upcoming season.
While the Tillman jersey has been given to defenders in the past, Graham said he wants to extend the honor to his players on offense and said redshirt junior quarterback Taylor Kelly could be next in line to wear it.
“Everything you do in the first year is all coach Graham’s, and it’s got to be theirs,” Graham said. “They have to take over their team, be in charge of their team.”
WR Cameron Smith cleared to play
As ASU is using its bye week to recover from injuries, another player was freed from wearing the green no-contact jersey.
Freshman wide receiver Cameron Smith has been cleared to fully practice after battling a hamstring injury throughout fall camp. Graham expects Smith to play this season as a true freshman, but Monday was the first practice Smith did not wear a green jersey since the first week of fall camp.
“It’s been slow,” Graham said. “He had a pulled muscle, and he did some work. The doctors got him ready to go. I didn’t see how he did, but hopefully he went through and did well.
- Junior defensive lineman Demetrius Cherry has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.
- Junior transfer wide receiver Joe Morris (foot) was medically cleared to play on Monday and should fully practice soon. Like Smith, Morris has been wearing the green no-contact jersey since the first week of fall camp.
- Graham expects junior transfer linebacker Eriquel Florence to be medically cleared over the next couple of days. Florence made his first appearance in practice Saturday after his transfer paperwork was cleared but is restricted to observing his teammates.
- Redshirt senior wide receiver Kevin Ozier, who has been battling a number of injuries, took reps with the first-team receiving corps along with sophomore Richard Smith and redshirt sophomore Jaelen Strong.
- Redshirt sophomore safety Ezekiel Bishop was moved back up from the scout team and split time at second-team bandit safety with freshman James Johnson.
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