Opinion: ASU football fans should expect an atmospheric change next season

With mentality shifts and a heightened energy, the 2018 season will be a good one

With new head coach Herm Edwards, making an effort to establish a winning culture and players making their way up in the ranks, the energy of ASU football games is changing. 

On April 13, family members and fans gathered to watch the annual ASU football spring game. There was a stark difference from previous seasons. The energy in the air was palpable, but for the first time in years it wasn't negative, according to State Press football beat reporter Anthony Totri.

"Last spring you could just feel the tension – you could feel it in the air," Totri said. "Everyone kind of knew (Todd) Graham had to do the unthinkable to save his job."

This year, it seems that Edwards has flipped ASU football around and sparked a newfound passion in his team. The atmosphere is once again conducive to productivity and growth, something that's been missing from past spring practices.  

"Edwards is completely different," Totri said. "There was a change in the pace of the practices, the mentality of the team and definitely the spirit." 

That spirit will be the driving force to a winning season. 

The motivation doesn't stop when they walk off the field. Edwards has even taken to Twitter to encourage his players. Every few days, Edwards has been tweeting out inspirational quotes or words of wisdom to the team. 

Whether it be the tweets, post-practice talks or mentality shifts, something is reaching this team and it is working. 

While credit deservedly goes to Edwards, that does not take away from the skill sets and improvements displayed this spring by the players. 

Redshirt senior safety Jalen Harvey has made strides in the offseason, switching positions from wide receiver to safety. 

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frank Darby has also found his place on the team, taking over Harvey's old job on the offensive side of the ball. 

All of the stars are lining up for an electric season at Sun Devil Stadium. Under a brand new, nationally recognized coach and the culture shift among the team, the fans will be able to feel the excitement. 

However, fans and students cannot depend on the team alone for the game's energy. 

"I think the play will be better than last year but as far as the environment in Sun Devil Stadium – that's up to the crowd," Totri said. "It's up to the fans to show up and for the students to show up and to actually stay the entire game. It's up to them to create the environment." 

This exact notion was seen earlier this year for Sun Devil basketball when Wells Fargo Arena reached record attendance of 14,233 people for the UA rivalry game. 

Edwards' progressive, NFL-like coaching style will undoubtedly bring electricity back to the stadium air, which will perfectly collide with the crowd's excitement, creating the perfect storm. 

One thing is for sure — you won't want to miss out on this upcoming season.

Reach the columnist at kcdoyle2@asu.edu or follow @kellydoyle06 on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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