Skip to main content

Sun Devil Football Practice Report: 10/10

Oct 10, 2020

Sun Devil Football Practice Report: 10/9

TEMPE -- Today's Sun Devil Football Practice Report is brought to you by:

Rapid Testing!

The Pac-12 Conference announced in early September that it would partner with the Quidel Corporation to implement daily rapid-result testing for COVID-19 with student-athletes across the conference in close contact sports, such as football.

The arrangement with Quidel will provide for frequent testing with rapid results, which had been one of the key concerns in the prior decision by the Pac-12 to postpone sport competition.  The testing will also significantly reduce the number of contact traces required and the breadth of contact tracing required, with the goal of relieving some of the burden on local health authorities, as a result of removing or significantly limiting the spread of infection through athletics activity. 

Quidel's Sofia 2 testing machines and tests were delivered to each of the Pac-12's athletic departments by the end of September and have been put to good use this week.

The team has split into groups of approximately 20 student-athletes each morning, providing a nasal swab to the machines that turn around results in less than half an hour. 

The process went so smoothly on the opening day of camp yesterday that the coaching staff felt comfortable in moving the early-morning wakeup call up a couple minutes after Friday's first group had to roll in to the facility by 6:30 a.m.

The Sun Devil Football players will continue to take part in the testing each day of Fall Camp.


SRT – Moneybagg Yo ft. Big 30 and Pooh Shiesty

Callin' – Youngboy Never Broke Again ft. Snoop Dogg



Jayden Daniels

Trenton Bourguet/Daylin McLemore

Running Back

Rachaad White/DeaMonte Trayanum/Daniyel Ngata 

D.J. Taylor

Wide Receiver

Frank Darby 

Geordon Porter

Wide Receiver

Ricky Pearsall

LV Bunkley-Shelton/Brandon Pierce

Wide Receiver

Johnny Wilson

Andre Johnson

Tight End

Curtis Hodges/Case Hatch

John Stivers/Nolan Matthews/Kyle Horn

Left Tackle

Kellen Diesch

Ralph Frias

Left Guard

Dohnovan West

Jacob Nunez


Cade Cote

Jarrett Bell

Right Guard

Henry Hattis

Ben Bray

Right Tackle

LaDarius Henderson/Ben Scott


  • The tight end position was a mixed bag based on offensive formations. In short-rushing situations, Case Hatch would line up at fullback with John Stivers playing just off the line. Hodges was frequently split out wide when he was in the game while Matthews and Horn played more traditional tight end roles. 

  • The running back trio of Rachaad White, DeaMonte Trayanum and Daniyel Ngata all rotated in at first string running back and also rotated the second team reps. D.J. Taylor earned second and third string reps throughout practice as well.

  • The wide receivers were again in flux throughout practice with Geordon Porter and LV Bunkley-Shelton getting first team looks as well.

  • Ben Scott and LaDarius Henderson again rotated reps at first team right tackle while freshman Jacob Nunez got most of the looks at second team left guard.


Defensive End

Tyler Johnson

Stanley Lambert

Michael Matus

Defensive Tackle

Jermayne Lole

Stephon Wright

Corey Stephens

Nose Tackle

D.J. Davidson

T.J. Pesefea

Defensive End*

Shannon Forman

Anthonie Cooper

Joe Moore


Merlin Robertson

Jordan Banks


Darien Butler

Caleb McCullough


Kyle Soelle

Will Shaffer

Connor Soelle


Chase Lucas

Timarcus Davis


Jordan Clark

T Lee


Evan Fields

DeAndre Pierce

K.J. Jarrell


Aashari Crosswell

Kejuan Markham

Cam Phillips/Alijah Gammage


Jack Jones

Macen Williams/Ed Woods


  • *-Nickelback and Defensive end positions rotated on/off the field based on the formation

  • Amiri Johnson, Willie Harts, Omarr Norman-Lott were all limited.

  • Stanley Lambert was on the field with the first team in special packages as a push-rush specialist.

  • Anthonie Cooper and Joe Moore rotated at defensive end on the second unit, with Cooper seeing reps on first team towards the end of practice. He was in the backfield on several occasions throughout the day.

  • Kejuan Markham saw a good amount of reps with the first team when the Sun Devils went to a dime defense look.

  • T.J. Pesefea played alongside D.J. Davidson on occasion with the first team, with Stephon Wright as the third defensive lineman.


Kick Return

Rachaad White

Geordon Porter

Daniyel Ngata/Jack Jones

Punt Return

LV Bunkley-Shelton

Jack Jones

Rachaad White


Punter: Michael Turk

Long Snapper: Erik Dickerson

Gunners: Rachaad White, Timarcus Davis

Upback: Ethan Long

Line of Scrimmage: Jordan Clark, DeaMonte Trayanum, Fritzny Niclasse, Merlin Robertson, Vincenzo Granatelli, DeAndre Pierce


Kickers: Michael Turk, Logan Tyler

Left: Johnny Wilson, Rachaad White, Case Hatch, Jack Jones

Right: DeaMonte Trayanum, Ricky Pearsall, Frank Darby, Chase Lucas, Evan Fields


Front Row: Kyle Horn, Darien Butler, Chase Lucas, DeaMonte Trayanum, Jack Jones, Case Hatch, Kyle Soelle, Rachaad White, Merlin Robertson

Back Row – Ricky Pearsall and Frank Darby


  • The defense wasted absolutely bouncing back on Saturday after not forcing a takeaway in Friday's camp opener. In the very first 11-on-11 drill of the day, Jayden Daniels was looking for Frank Darby across the middle of the field in what looked like it would be a chunk play inside the 10-yard line. Merlin Robertson had other ideas, showing off his explosiveness and instincts as he dropped perfectly back into his zone and broke on the pass to get his fingertips in there, and a tip drill exercise resulted in Evan Fields' first interception of the day.

  • Later on in the team's Skeleton period, Daniels sailed a ball to LV Bunkley-Shelton that Fields made a difficult sliding catch on for his second pick of the day. 


  • After a quiet first day of practice, freshman standout Johnny Wilson came alive in Saturday's 7-on-7 skeleton drills. 

  • An absolute mismatch anywhere on the field at 6-7 with more speed than you'd expect that size, Wilson lined up a bit at slot on Saturday in addition to moving outside and started the first 11-on-11 period with the one's for the second straight day. Receivers coach Prentice Gill noted after practice that "you can put a big guy on him, but he's faster. Or you can put a little guy on him, and he's taller."

  • It was the red zone skeleton period where Wilson had a dominant stretch and showed off both traits. On his first touchdown, Nathan Manning hit Wilson in the back corner of the end zone with a ball that Wilson simply had to hold his hands up to catch over a mismatched corner. On his very next rep, Wilson burned a linebacker on the boundary side in a play that was drawn up with no one else in mind as Trenton Bourguet took a simple three-step drop before launching a perfectly-thrown floater to the goalline where Wilson made a contested grab with a step on his man.  

  • The defense didn't give him a third chance, with Timarcus Davis locking him down and the secondary forcing a coverage sack on Wilson's final rep of the period. 


  • The first couple days of practice can be tough on the offensive linemen, who start at an immediate disadvantage against defensive linemen without the pads on. The group's second team had a suspect 11-on-11 period that resulted in a thorough lashing from offensive line coach Dave Christensen. His spirited words seemed to get the group going and throughout practice the squad had several notable pushes to spring running backs Rachaad White and DeaMonte Trayanum for several chunk plays, including a real nice seal from Kellen Diesch in the later 11-on-11 periods that set a patient White up for resulted in a 30-40 yard rush. 

  • But, for the second day, the team got a really good outing from its defensive line.

  • D.J. Davidson remained a force in the middle for the second straight day.

  • Anthonie Cooper has shown an engine in practice that has seen him again start the day with the third team but finish it with the first team. Cooper was a force off the edge with the one defense in the later periods of practice.

  • Stanley Lambert will make his calling as a pash rusher this season and showed off his speed and ability with several "sacks" alongside Cooper in the late 11-on-11 periods.


  • New defensive back's coach Chris Hawkins' attention to detail with the alignment of his defensive back was apparent. With the defensive backs being asked to serve more roles in this defense, Hawkins emphasized that they can't be out of position pre-snap even by a yard.

  • Chris Hawkins ran a ball security drill with his defensive backs group. The purpose was to punch the ball out while also wrapping up the ball carrier to ensure the tackle was made even if the ball wasn't fumbled. Chase Lucas and Jack Jones engaged in friendly competition as to who would be the most aggressive and tenacious of the group. Hawkins recognized their energy and was pleased with the group's ability to complete the drill.

  • Ball "Hawk" drill led by Chris Hawkins had defensive backs drop in coverage and break on the ball once it was shown. If a ball was dropped by a defensive back, the result would be push-ups for that individual, who would simultaneously be cheered on and supported by their teammates.

  • Defensive line coach Robert Rodriguez strapped on makeshift boxing gloves for a drill that resembled one a boxer would go through. It required players to "punch" the opponent with the left arm and dip your shoulder to navigate around the block. Jermayne Lole led by example and received high praise for his execution of this drill.

  • Shaun Aguano's running back crew engaged in dual ball security and form drill where they would hold a pair of foam footballs in each hand and run and high step through a gauntlet of dividers on the ground, with an emphasis on properly gripping and controlling the footballs in each arm while still focusing on the footwork drill. 


  • Co-Defensive Coordinator Marvin Lewis didn't want the world to know he was riding around at practice in a golf following knee surgery a couple weeks ago. However, head Herm Edwards let the cat out of the bag in his Friday presser. Lewis showed a ton of improvement on Saturday, seen on his feet throughout practice with fewer trips to the golf cart.

  • Recent Arizona State graduates and Sun Devil Football wide receivers Kyle Williams and Ryan Newsome were in attendance.  

  • Defensive Line Coach Robert Rodriguez - who has no shortage of charisma and spirit - expressed his expectations of the unit during a huddle – "We have to be the most engaged, most energetic, most intense, and most disciplined group out here."

  • Quarterback Jayden Daniels was intercepted for the first time in practice by safety Evan Fields, thanks to a tip and great play by linebacker Merlin Robertson. When the Ball Security drills started, Head Coach Herm Edwards commented that Daniels needed to be more secure with the ball. Daniels replied "I thought I would throw them one to keep them interested." Daniels added in reference to Robertson "He made a hell of a play, I like that." Coach Edwards quipped back "In a real game, he would have done that to the other team and got you the ball back." Daniels and Edwards shared a laugh before moving on to the Ball Security drills.

  • Coverage drills today involved the tight ends and running backs working against the linebackers. Rachaad White ran a great route to beat Merlin Robertson down the field for a touchdown, but didn't offer any single instance of competitive banter. Instead, it was the exact opposite -- "That was great defense man. I've got to figure out how to beat you. I need to get in the film room and study you so I can get you," White praised the veteran linebacker. The two exchanged a dap with White also shouting out Robertson's influence on an interception earlier in the day.

  • Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Antonio Pierce was not at all happy with his linebacker group early in the coverage drills, which were operating at a rapid pace and needed guys to constantly be ready to go with two reps going on each side of the field. His frustration continued when he felt his group was playing too soft on coverage against the running backs and tight ends -- "We're not the DBs! Hit them!" he exclaimed at one point, rallying both sides of the ball to a competitive and physical session that had coaches impressed with the efforts.

  • In a typical practice, the one-on-one session in practice typically involves the receivers and defensive backs while the running backs work on individual drills or inside run-schemes. However, the backfield made their way to the far field at the Kajikawa Practice Facility on Saturday to take on the linebackers in coverage drills and as they were jogging by co-defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, the long-time NFL coach gave them a playful jab -- "You got a road game coming here, running backs." 

  • Elijhah Badger was on hand at practice and active in helping the coaches and support staff run the assorted individual drills and was invested in what his teammates were doing throughout the day.

  • The highlight catch of the day was an incredible "You Got Moss'ed" moment from Andre Johnson in 11-on-11 drills in which he skied over his defender on an underthrown short ball for the leaping grab that absolutely fired up the entire offense and earned praise from the defense players well. 

  • During coverage drills, Connor Soelle technically did his part in forcing running back DeaMonte Trayanum just out of bounds on his route but earned the ire of his coaches for not finishing the play and simply stopping while Trayanum continued down the field and made his catch. The coaches emphasized finishing every single rep and Soelle responded with an impressive breakup in the end zone in his final 1-on-1 rep of the day with the coaches noting "That's how you finish the play." Later in the 11-on-11 period, Soelle broke on a long pass play to the boundary and got a hand in at the last second to break the play up and end the offensive drive. 


  • Well executed screen to DeaMonte Trayanum on first play of session. First team offensive line did a great job selling pass protection before getting down field to block on screen.

  • Trenton Bourguet hit LV Bunkley-Shelton over the middle on a dig route for a first down as Bunkley-Shelton continued to always find a way to catch the ball.

  • Darien Butler with several well-timed blitzes resulting in one sack and several quarterback hurries.

  • D.J. Davidson controlled the line of scrimmage when he was on the field, making several run stops at or near the line.

  • Stanley Lambert with a great read and discipline on some misdirection action, staying home and making a 5+-yard tackle for loss. A few plays later, Lambert was able to get around the left tackle to make a sack. He was also in the backfield on multiple occasions right before the ball was released. He also forced a pair of false start calls early in the practice.