Nasty. Swagalicious. Just a couple words players used to describe the Sun Devils' new defensive scheme, which includes a starting spot for senior linebacker Jay Jay Wilson.
“Just everything we’re going to be doing, everything we’re doing right now is just nasty,” Wilson said. “We’re flying to the ball, we’re trying to get the ball out, we’re getting turnovers, we hittin'.”
For an extended period of time during Thursday’s practice, the defense worked on recovering fumbles.
Defensive players would line up, then on the coach’s signal, those closest to the left sideline would sprint to tackle a dummy, which had a ball on it. Those on the backside would dive on the football, simulating a forced fumble.
Wilson, along with redshirt sophomore cornerback Chase Lucas, were especially quick to the dummy. Lucas said this season will differ from 2017 because he is slated as the No. 1 corner, a position role he does not take lightly.
“I put a lot of weight on my shoulders, because I feel I have the hardest job on the field,” Lucas said. “I just try and be excellent in everything and to lock that side of the field down.”
Head coach Herm Edwards has long been seen with his hat backwards working with the secondary through the duration of Spring practices.
Edwards’ routine slightly changed on Thursday as he spent a healthy amount of time with the linebackers and defensive line when they were practicing blitzes and line stunts.
Crump is expected to resume his duties on the starting unit once fully recovered from the torn ACL he suffered last season.
"I want to move him around,” Likens said. “I don’t want him to just sit over there at the outside receiver… I want to use him to take advantage of some match ups inside possibly and get him on safeties and guys with less cover skills and work on those types of guys."
Junior offensive lineman Cohl Cabral, who at this point is pegged as the starting center, is clearing one of ASU’s best players in the trenches. Cabral’s footwork, along with securing leverage has made him a standout this spring.