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ASU Spring Football: Wide receiving core looks to build on impressive season

(Photo: Blaine McCormick/WCSN)

ASU football was back in action Monday morning as the seventh spring football practice resumed at Kajikawa Practice Fields in Tempe, Arizona. The media had access to the practice for a half and hour and the players participated in individual-release drills, stretching and tempo.

Through seven spring practices the receiving core has been getting after it and working hard.

One impact player figures to be transfer wide receiver Ryan Newsome, who opted to go from the University of Texas to ASU. Newsome believed another system could be a better fit.

Billy Napier and Rob Likens recruited Newsome in high school. The two coaches are in their first year serving as co-offensive coordinators, with Likens also serving as the wide receivers coach.

The former Longhorn is comfortable in his new home as a Sun Devil.

“I’m excited about the season and the spring,” Newsome said. “I’m excited about the new coaches that have came in. I’m very familiar with coach Likens and Napier. I’m excited to have them on board and ready to get things going. It’s been a great seven practices.”

Last season the sophomore receiver decided to redshirt because he had to sit out due to NCAA transfer rules.

“It was tough, man,” Newsome said. “It was something I didn’t think I was going to able to make it through. When you go from playing to not playing it is really hard.”

Even though the process was difficult, Newsome decided to develop his voice as vocal leader and uplift the team while he was sitting out.

Likens Taking New Approach

Likens had dialed in on a strategy for the young receiving core throughout spring practices.

“I think we need to pay more attention to the details,” Likens said. “Running routes is not just about going and running a post, there is a million things involved in running a post the champion way.”

In addition, Likens mentioned teaching his group how to practice precisely is the top objective.

“How to practice correctly, that’s the biggest thing,” Likens said. “I just have the vision on how practice is supposed to look like. I’m trying to get my vision into them so that they practice everyday like a champion.”

With a new offensive coordinator comes a new playbook and the receiving core has been putting in extra work to get the plays down.

“It’s a whole lot,” junior receiver Jalen Harvey said. “They are throwing it at us fast and we have to study it on the weekends. As players we have to come in and ask a lot of questions. Something we may be wrong but if we ask a lot of questions we eventually get it right.”

The offensive unit as a whole has been adjusting to all the new plays and schemes.

Newsome is eager to showcase his ability on the football field through the offense.

“Break somebody ankles, that’s my game and that’s who I am and I am not going to change,” Newsome said. “I’m ready to get out there and make people stand up when I get the ball. That’s what I love doing, bring that exciting element to the game.”

Practice Sightings

Players in green: (non –contact jerseys)

  • (QB) Bryce Perkins
  • (S) Marcus Ball
  • (CB) Kareem Orr
  • (OL) Cade Cote

All players participated in individual drills.

Players sidelined due to injury:

  • (DL) Jalen Bates
  • (RB) Eno Benjamin
  • (LB) Drew McIntyre
  • (WR) Terrell Chatman
  • (WR) Cameron Smith

Players did light exercises on the sideline, including riding the exercise bike and working with resistance bands.

First team reps Offense:

  • (QB) Manny Wilkins
  • (RB) Demario Richard
  • (WRs) N’keal Harry, Jalen Harvey, John Humphrey
  • (TE) Jay Jay Wilson
  • (LT) Cohl Cabral
  • (LG) Steven Miller
  • (C) Tyler McClure
  • (RG) Sam Jones
  • (RT) Quinn Bailey

First team reps Defense

(DL) Koron Crump

(NT) George Lea, Jordan Hoyt

(DT) Tashon Smallwood

(DE) JoJo Wicker

(LBs) Christian Sam, DJ Calhoun

(DBs) Kareem Orr, Chase Lucas, J’Marcus Rhodes, Chad Adams, Ty Thomas

Next practice is March 29, at 8:30 at Kajikawa Practice Fields.

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