March 29, 2007

ASU gearing up for Saturday scrimmage

The energy level remained high as Arizona State neared the mid-point of its spring football practice schedule with workout No. 7 on Thursday. Several more players were on the sidelines, held out for precautionary reasons -- nobody has suffered a serious injury thus far -- but there were nonetheless bright spots on both sides of the ball in a workout that featured quite a bit of 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 work.

"I think the intensity level today was better than it was Monday (which) wasn't very good," ASU coach Dennis Erickson said. "I wasn't happy with Monday. I think that was because of coming off the scrimmage. If I had this schedule to make up myself we wouldn't have practiced on Monday. It was set before I ever got here. What we would do next year is practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, make it like a game week. You'd practice hard on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then you play on Saturday."

At the wide receiver position, Brandon Smith and Kyle Williams continued to separate themselves from the competition. Smith is clearly the most athletic player at the position group and he's improved in his route running, and is bigger and stronger this year. Williams is an impressive practice player. He has great tempo at all times on the field, backs down from nobody, and is showing improved athleticism and agility after the catch, perhaps due to his 10 pounds of added strength in the off-season.

Chris McGaha and Mike Jones has also had their moments of strong play at the position this spring, with McGaha having arguably the top catch of the day Tuesday, and he was reliable again on Thursday. He got into a scrap with Justin Tryon after one play in 11-on-11s, and then went out and had another reception soon thereafter. With Rudy Burgess out, Rodney Glass is getting quite a bit of work in the slot and he's making strides at learning the position.

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