August 31, 2007

Camp Grades: DL

It was clear well in advance of the start of fall camp that the Sun Devils would need to bolster their line play if they wished to have a high qualify defense capable of taking on the traditional Pac-10 conference powers in the 2007 season.

Though they had improved substantially in 2006 under position coach Grady Stretz, doubling their sack output from the previous season, the group still was average at best when compared against its peers.

As pointed out in the offensive line preview, the Sun Devils generated just five sacks in their five Pac-10 losses, while giving up a combined 22 sacks in those games.

Much of the pressure ASU was able to put on opposite quarterbacks came via blitzing schemes and linebacker help as opposed to stress purely from the front four. Right end Dexter Davis led the group with six sacks, a modest total.

Almost upon arrival the new coaching staff aggressively pursued talent in the junior college ranks, landing mid-year transfers Luis Vasquez and Eric Tanner. In the summer, they added a third JUCO defensive end, Paul Unga.

Vasquez in particularly was highly regarded coming out of Arizona Western, where he led the nation in sacks, with 31 over a two-year period. He adjusted quickly in the spring and ascended to the depth chart almost immediately.

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