ASU football head coach Todd Graham on starting freshmen next season

Freshman safety Jayme Otemewo celebrates the victory over the UCLA Bruins in Pasadena Calif., Saturday, Nov. 23. ASU defeated the Bruins 38-35 and clinched a spot in the Pac-12 championship. (Photo by Dominic Valente.)

Freshman safety Jayme Otemewo celebrates the victory over the UCLA Bruins in Pasadena Calif., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. ASU defeated the Bruins 38-35 and clinched a spot in the Pac-12 championship. (Photo by Dominic Valente.)

Following practice on Friday, ASU football head coach Todd Graham talked about the possibility of starting at least three freshmen on the defense next season, something he has not done during his time at ASU.

According to coach Graham, of the freshmen that are competing for starting spots, defensive lineman Tashon Smallwood, defensive back Armand Perry and linebacker DJ Calhoun seem to be making the most headway.

“If you asked me to project how many [freshmen] I thought would be in the starting rotation, I’d say at least three,” Graham said. “I would think Smallwood is projected to be in the starting three, I would be surprised if he’s not. I would say DJ is projected at Will and Armond will be in the rotation but is not projected to be a starter right now.”

Perry specifically has been a surprise at camp. The 5-foot-11 corner from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas is the third corner on the depth chart and has been impressing his coaches.

“Coach Norvell had a chance to watch him in practice and said ‘Todd, I’m telling you this guy’s got really long arms, he’s got really good foot speed and his feet turn over really well,’” Graham said. “When he came here, the work ethic that he had was impressive.”

 

Reach the reporter at Hunter.Kossodo@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @HKossodo