ASU fans were given a promising sound of confidence from the latest Spring football practice on Thursday from redshirt sophomore cornerback Chase Lucas.
“We’re going to be a top-10 defense in the country this year,” Lucas said.
Lucas’ last week of practice has been especially strong as he firmly holds the No. 1 corner spot. Time and again head coach Herm Edwards is off with the defensive backs, slowly grooming Lucas and the rest of the young group.
“Sixty-three years old or not, he’s like 18 or 19 to us,” Lucas said.
Compared to last season’s spring practices, the energy on the field is like night and day with Edwards and the new coaching staff.
However, Edwards isn’t the only one pushing Lucas to his limits.
Redshirt senior safety Jalen Harvey, who played wide receiver last year, has been a ball-hawk at practice, swiping a handful of interceptions in just the first five spring practices.
“Yeah, I’m trying to go out there every day and get at least one or two picks,” Harvey said. “And if I don’t, I’m mad.”
Harvey is one of the eldest players in the secondary and could be the surprise of this defensive unit.
Aside from the secondary, the linebackers and defensive line spent roughly the first half-hour of practice running through blitzes and line stunts.
After transitioning to individual drills, the linebackers put on display what separates them from last year’s group – their speed.
As far as the defensive line goes, it still remains unclear how the starting unit will look. Redshirt junior Jalen Bates, sophomore Shannon Foreman and redshirt senior Renell Wren are manning the three starting spots as of now, but this group has more depth than years past.
Edwards said in his press conference that redshirt junior wide receiver John Humphrey is out for the season with an achilles injury and had surgery at noon today.
Redshirt senior linebacker Koron Crump, who tore his ACL last season, said the goal is for him to be back by May.
Graduate student and transfer from Stanford University Casey Tucker was out watching practice today – he is in the process of finishing his degree at Stanford.
Redshirt senior right tackle Quinn Bailey is seemingly having the best spring camp of any offensive lineman on the team.
Junior wide receiver Kyle Williams continues to impress with his speed and precise route running. With Harvey moving to defense, Williams looks destined to improve from his 66 receptions and 763 yards he had a year ago.