The Gomez Files: Camp T Tidbits

Aug. 22, 2003

By Brian Gomez
TheSunDevils.com

PAYSON, Ariz. -- Although most college football teams can't truthfully boastincreased depth upon losing their top producer at any given position, Arizona Statesenior Skyler Fulton says his team is deeper at wide receiver this season, evenwithout Shaun McDonald.

Fulton's logic is simple, and his reasoning is sound. The Sun Devils not onlyreturn four of their leading six wide-outs from a year ago, but they alsowelcome back more experienced players, many of whom spent much of last seasonhoning their skills, while others accounted for a majority of their team'sproduction.

'The receivers as a group this year are going to be a lot better than we werelast year,' said Fulton, who cites the progress of redshirt freshman TerryRichardson and sophomores Matt Miller and Moey Mutz as evidence to support hisclaim. 'A lot of the guys who haven't played know what they're doing. You cantell by their play that they're confident in what they're doing.'

In Tuesday's full-contact scrimmage, Miller made one catch for 18 yards inhis biggest test since returning from heavy conditioning. Richardson finishedwith three receptions for a team-high 65 yards and one touchdown, and Mutztallied two catches for 61 yards and one TD.

Fulton said he was impressed most by junior wide receiver Daryl Lightfoot,who flashed speed and crafty footwork before dozens of fans at Rumsey Park.Lightfoot hauled in two passes for 33 yards, including a 21-yard reception oversophomore cornerback Josh Golden.

'His feet are so quick sometimes I think he shakes himself,' Fulton said.

SPECIAL TEAMS TIDBITS: ASU special teams coach Tom Osborne said Wednesdaythat his depth chart for punt returns has been clarified. Golden will be backedby Lightfoot, Richardson and sophomore Hakim Hill. True freshmen Josh Barrettand Chad Green will be used 'down the road,' Osborne said.

Osborne liked what he saw from his three place-kickers Tuesday. FreshmanJessie Ainsworth was 3-for-4 with a long of 51 yards; senior Tim Parker was3-for-5 with a long of 44 yards; and freshman Kyle Dixon was 1-for-2, making a45-yarder.

'Jessie's mechanics and technique have improved, so his performance hasimproved,' Osborne said. 'He has a very strong, natural, fast leg, and that's whatyou're looking for in a kicker.'

COACH K's AUDIBLES: After reviewing film from Tuesday's scrimmage, Sun Devilhead coach Dirk Koetter said he was pleased with the play of all his tailbacks,junior cornerback R.J. Oliver and freshman linebacker Mark Washington, whomade seven tackles in 20 plays.

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