This week, Arizona State University finished up final exams and had their commencement ceremony. For college students, it’s the official beginning of the summer. For ASU Football players, it’s the official beginning of summer workouts.
Nowadays, it’s not unusual for players to stick around the campus, take summer school courses and work out at the facility and practice on their own. That is actually a relatively new development in the last 20 years.
Some ASU fans may remember that back in 1996, the majority of that Sun Devil football team decided to stay in Tempe to practice on their own, get in shape and build team chemistry. At that time, it was unusual. Everybody knows the results. That team played for a National Championship in the Rose Bowl.
This summer, many of the players are doing the same thing. They are wise to do so. Devils in Detail will not speak for the football program, but it’s a safe bet that Coach Graham probably “highly encourages” his players to stick around during the summer to lift weights and “practice” with their teammates.
Even though officially structured practices are not allowed during the summer, players are authorized to use the facilities and do football activities on their own. This is where player leadership is essential. QB Taylor Kelly and his fellow seniors need to get as many teammates on board as possible in this effort.
For the offense especially, timing and the reading progression of choice routes is crucial. It takes time and repetition. Imagine how far ahead the receivers, running backs and quarterbacks would be in August if they spent the summer working together.
But the same concept holds true for all the position groups. Summer time allows for what coaches call “free reps”. For champions, football season starts NOW. Victory is earned in the summer. ASU fans are hoping the current Sun Devils take this to heart and make solid progress before fall camp officially begins.