August 27, 2008

Two defensive spots still up for grabs

Of the 22 starting spots on the ASU football team, 20 are seemingly locked up.

The other two, coach Dennis Erickson said, are still up for grabs.

The decision as to who will start at weak-side linebacker and the cornerback spot opposite of Omar Bolden will not be decided until Friday.

Ryan McFoy and Mike Nixon are battling for the open weakside linebacker position while Pierre Singfield and Terell Carr are vying for a cornerback job.

McFoy and Singfield were taking reps with the No. 1 defense Tuesday, but Erickson said that is not necessarily indicative of who will start.

But even though Erickson didn't tip his hand, McFoy and Singfield knew exactly where they were practicing.

Both players know they have not secured the starting job, but they like the fact that they are receiving reps with the No. 1 defense.

"It makes me feel good that I'm running with the No. 1 team," Singfield said. "It's always good to take reps with the No. 1 squad, but I'm not going to say that I'm real confident that I have that starting position because Terell Carr and Josh (Jordan) and all the other corners are all good. So that spot can always be taken by anybody."

And McFoy, he just wants to play a significant role on the team regardless if he starts.

"If I don't start next week, as long as I get on the field that's all I want," he said.

Although both players are currently in the same position as far as their positioning on the depth chart, they have taken drastically routes to get where they're at.

Singfield walked onto the team last spring after playing two seasons at Pima Community College in Tucson and ascended the depth chart quickly. He began the spring buried on the depth chart, but was taking some reps with the first team several weeks later.
For him, earning the starting spot would mean everything.

"That's like a dream, to tell you the truth," Singfield said. "You have the person walk on here, having all the obstacles in his way. Then he makes that No. 1 team and he starts. After that, you've been through so much you think you can achieve anything."

But for McFoy, the fight to the top of the depth chart has taken some strange twists.
As a true freshman in 2006, McFoy was a safety and saw a lot of playing time. He appeared in 12 games and started eight recording 34 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble.

But before the 2007 season, he was converted to linebacker and found himself deep in the depth chart and did not start a single game.

Bu McFoy has worked as hard as any player on the team and will play a huge role for the Sun Devils in 2008.

And regardless of Erickson's decision as to who will start at WILL, McFoy will continue to work hard throughout the season.

"My goal is to be the most improved player on the team," McFoy said. "That's my goal. And to get a championship or the Rose Bowl."

So for now, it's a waiting game until Friday.

But Singfield and McFoy are OK with that. They just hope they are on top when the coaches sit down and make their decision.

"It's like a TV show," Singfield said. "You wait for the results then they tell you to wait and they go to a commercial. So I guess you just always have to wait for what you really want. But if I get this spot the wait will be worth it."

Scholarship on scout

Tuesday marked the first practice in which ASU had players wearing tallow jerseys, designating the scout team.

Seven scholarship players that are not true freshmen were observed on the scout team Tuesday. They were: Angelo Fobbs-Valentino, Morris Wooten, Bo Moos, Jeff Bereuter, Colin Parker, Jonathan Clark and Derrall Anderson.

Quick hits

On punts, Omar Bolden and Fobbs-Valentino are the first team gunners. Travis Smith and Terell Carr are the backups.

James Brooks has moved from left defensive end to right defensive end with the second unit with Lawrence Guy now at left end with that squad. Jamarr Robinson is taking reps with the third squad.

Erickson has said James Morrison will redshirt this season, but Morrison was wearing a maroon (non-scout team) jersey Tuesday and was working with the rest of the running backs.
Jarrell Holman was splitting reps with Max Tabach on the No. 2 defense. Erickson said Holman will be the backup nickelback.

With Garth Gerhart still out, Brent Good was taking reps as the No. 2 center Tuesday. Freshmen Andrew Sampson was not working with the scout team, however.

Freshmen A.J. Pickens is still out with NCAA Clearinghouse issues, though a source informed us he may return to practice this week.

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