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ASU Football: Taylor Kelly sheds walking boot; defense prepping to stop run

(Photo: Adam Stites/WCSN)

The Sun Devils practiced in the Verde Dickey Dome on Wednesday with threatening clouds overhead, but inside things looked optimistic. Particularly, the progress made by quarterback Taylor Kelly gives Arizona State fans something to be pleased about.

The senior quarterback still did not practice or dress out on Wednesday morning, but he walked around the facility and warmed up with the quarterbacks without any sign of injury. He is no longer wearing a walking boot and if you didn’t already know it was the right foot that he injured against Colorado, one would have no way of telling the two apart, as Kelly showed no pain of sign of a limp.

On Tuesday, head coach Todd Graham told reporters that he expects Kelly to practice “by the end of the week.” With no practices scheduled on Friday or Saturday, the question is whether or not Thursday will be the return of Kelly.

Graham did not speak with the media after practice on Wednesday, so there weren’t too many notes to be taken from the day besides those that the media could pick up during their hour inside the bubble.

First Team Defense:

Defensive line: Marcus Hardison (End), Mo Latu (Nose), Jaxon Hood (Tiger), Demetrius Cherry (End)

Linebackers: Marcus Ball/D.J. Calhoun (Spur), Salamo Fiso (Sam), Antonio Longino (Will)

Cornerbacks: Kweishi Brown (Boundary), Lloyd Carrington (Field)

Safeties: Jordan Simone (Bandit), Damarious Randall (Field)

Practice Notes:

  • The Sun Devils talked about stopping the run against Stanford and they certainly look prepped to do so with Hardison, Latu, Hood and Cherry earning the first-team reps on Wednesday. I listed Cherry as a second defensive end, because there’s simply no way the team expects him to be a pass rushing specialist as the Devil-backer position usually entails.
  • Antonio Longino, who has starting experience at Devil this season has worked at WILL linebacker the last two days and could see time in the role vs. Stanford. Freshman linebacker D.J. Calhoun had arguably his best game of the season against USC, but Longino is more experienced and about 20 pounds heavier than Calhoun.
  • Zane Gonzalez was back in practice on Tuesday and handled the majority of kicking duties on Wednesday as well. He is expected to play next Saturday against Stanford.
  • The entire defense worked with Coach Keith Patterson in tackling drills as they rotated through, each getting a couple chances to really lay into a scout team player.
  • Former Sun Devils running back Terry Battle observed practice from the sideline. He played for the team from 1994 to 1996 and finished his final season with the team with 18 rushing touchdowns.

You can reach Adam Stites on Twitter @AdamStitesASU or by email

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