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Thursday practice notes: Bercovici, Rogers stand out

(Photo: ASU Athletics)

A few players stood out during the team period of Arizona State’s final Thursday practice of fall camp today, and it’s a good thing. The second unit on offense moved the ball well and the first-team linebackers, who appear set now, were moving to the ball well in the few plays media was allowed to watch. Here is what stood out to me as the Sun Devils approach the start of the 2013 season:

  • The offense is deeper than we thought. Michael Bercovici moved the ball crisply down the field, displaying great accuracy and a tight spiral. He found Darwin Rogers twice on delayed wheel routes, a play I expect Arizona State to run often with its 3-back and tight ends.
  • The deepest position on offense is running back.  The second deepest?  3-back, believe it or not.  A position that lacked much of anything behind Chris Coyle last year has seen Rogers excel of late, perhaps finally taking the next step mentally to match his physical talent.  Remember, Rogers was a quarterback for a long time, and has only been a skill player for two years.  Transfer De’Marieya Nelson continues to look good, meaning the Sun Devils can rotate all three at times, keeping everyone fresh.  All three have different skill sets and deserve to be on the field, but that’s a good problem to have.
  • Alden Darby and Osahon Irabor both wore the Pat Tillman PT42 jersey today.  At this point, it would be a disappointment if Darby lost the jersey.  Don’t get me wrong, it will probably happen.  Coach Todd Graham takes that jersey very seriously, as he should, and college players are prone to having bad practices and games here and there.  But when it does happen, it will still be a surprise, and I’d expect Darby to take it back the next day; that’s just the person he is.
  • Zane Gonzalez missed his last field goal attempt before the team moved into the bubble.  Don’t panic, Sun Devil fans.  The fact is, we really don’t know how good the freshman will be until we see him in a game situation.

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