Quotes from ASU Football Media Day

Aug. 8, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz. - Quotes from the 2004 Arizona State Football Media Day, held Saturday afternoon at the Carson Student-Athlete Center. The Sun Devils reported on Friday and will practice for four days in Tempe before heading up to Camp Tontozona on Wednesday.Senior safety Riccardo StewartOn getting the season started:'I'm definitely excited to get it started; it has been a long summer. My expectation is to come out of Camp T to solidify our positioning. Defensively we expect to get a lot of turnovers and out-hit the offense all practice and help make them better and they will make us better. To come out of camp with the urgency to win and that is what it comes down to. We are not going to win any games at Camp Tontozona, we are going to win our games when we come down here to the Valley on September 2.'On getting beat up or tired in Camp Tontozona:'That is really up to Coach Koetter with the conditioning and the way we practice. We trust them enough where we are not going to get beat up and that has never been the case ever. And the way the NCAA has it now, where there are no consecutive two a days, there is no way we are going to get beat up. In the past we had two a days consecutively for 10 or 13 straight days. This is different now, there isn't going to be a physical issue or a battered issue.'Senior defensive lineman Jimmy Verdon:On being a senior:'It is like what you are going to do in life. This is the big step, and this is how you react. I'm a bona fide leader now.'On the line being inexperienced:'We have three seniors and a really good sophomore who played last year. I would go to war with these guys any day, and I wouldn't change anything about them. We have more depth this year, which we didn't have last year.'Senior quarterback Andrew WalterOn there being more pressure last year than this year:'More so I think last year because the team was picked preseason 16 and maybe second in the Pac-10, we are kind of under the radar so far this year. Personally it has been that way ever since my sophomore season, basically none of that stuff matters until you play the first game. What you do on Saturday is all that matters.'On having a bad game:'The way I see it, over the long haul that has more credence over one game because if you have one bad game it is what you have done over your entire career not what you have done in one game. Everybody has an off day, but if you have an off career that is something else.'On football being a team game:'The biggest thing I learned last year is that football is a team game. It doesn't matter what one person does. The quarterback gets more blame when stuff goes bad and more credit when stuff goes good. I look at teams like Ohio State, who may not have a first round quarterback, who win the national championship because they have a great running game, defense and special teams. Football is a team game and if I have a great year and throw for three grand and win five games, what is the point?'On working with the receivers:'This off-season I have worked more with the receivers than any season ever. We've watched more film. We have worked on the field more. We've done smarter throwing sessions twice a week all summer. We have done a lot more than ever and how can that not transfer over to the field.'On scouts watching him play:'I'm aware of it, but I try not to pay attention to it because all that matters is how you play. If you play better, you are going to get more attention. I know what is out there, but I try not to pay attention to it.'On returning for his senior season:'A lot of it was unfinished business. I wanted to graduate and I did that. This has been a good off-season. In a month, we will find out if it paid off.'Senior center Drew HodgdonOn off-season training'I just spend the whole off-season just trying to train with a whole new mind set. Trying to work on everything that was my weakness from the year before. We spent a lot of time as a team specifically trying to identify what those weaknesses were and take care of those things piece by piece. and it is coming together.'On ASU's new tight end formation:'It really hasn't affected the offensive line too much. A lot of the calls and the scenarios that we had in place when we had a fullback are pretty similar. It really isn't that much of a difference for us. Really the only difference for us is that we don't have Mike Karney back there playing fullback, but I think we have a lot of talent with the tight ends. I think they are going to come in and vie for that position so we aren't worried about it.'Sophomore placekicker Jesse AinsworthOn the upcoming season:'I'm feeling great and I'm really excited about getting the season started. Camp is looking good and I'm looking forward to it. I gained a couple of pounds to help with my kicking and to help get through the season. I've been focusing on my leg strength and my leg speed, so I don't lose that. That is the most important thing when you are kicking.'On conditioning:'Our conditioning and lifting program really helps us get stronger, but at the same time helps us keep our flexibility and keep us lean.'On what has changed from last year:'I have gained some more confidence after having a year of experience and I look forward to having that confidence this season. I still need to work on my consistency with the field goals.'Freshman tight end/h-back Zach MillerOn his goals for this season:'I want to make an impact early.'On him and fellow freshman Andrew Pettes playing tight end:'We both bring different qualities to the team and it's just good because we have a double tight end formation now. We can play together and we can both come in and learn the offense together.'On going up to Camp Tontozona:'I'm excited, it should be fun. There is always fun stuff that happens in camp.'What are you most excited about this season?'I'm most excited about getting a chance to play and hopefully getting into the starting rotation'Junior wide receiver Derek HaganOn Andrew Walter being watched by scouts:'We all know that he is going to get that attention, but he doesn't talk about that at all because I know in his mind he is all focused on winning this year. He wants to turn everything around and we all want to turn everything around this year.'On Andrew Walter's season last year:'I think what a lot of people don't realize is that Andrew still had a good year last year. He still threw for over 3,000 yards. He still had a great year no matter what and many people don't understand that.'On the receivers:'You are always going to have a receiver that can break for the long ball at any time, but they just have to realize that when Shaun McDonald was here that he had that great year where he had 1400 yards and last year there was me and Skyler Fulton. I had over a thousand and Skyler had about over 900 yards and it still made up for what Shaun did. We still had another thousand yard receiver that came in and stepped up.'

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