Ohrman shines for EMU
April 9, 2010By Al Romano of Adrian High School
Former Maple 3 sport star Brent Ohrman was 2 for 4 in Eastern's 8-6 loss to the University of Michigan.
Arizona State football offense has 'positive energy' in practice
by Doug Haller - Mar. 30, 2010 08:58 PM
The Arizona Republic
Entering his fourth season, Dennis Erickson pledged that Arizona State's football team will feature a faster, more dynamic offense.
That was clear from Tuesday's first day of spring practice.
The Sun Devils were in constant motion for most of the session, particularly the offense. Led by new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, drills were sharp and downtime was rare. At one point, four footballs flew on one play, each to a different receiver.
"Last year was lax and laid back, but this year it's just positive energy," receiver Gerell Robinson said before stating the obvious: "I was tired."
The spring normally is used for experimentation and acclimation, but it still carries significant importance for ASU simply because of its recent past. The Sun Devils finished 4-8 last season, failing to qualify for a postseason bowl for the second consecutive season. Next season's team is expected to be fierce on defense, but the offense, which produced 22.3 points per game and ranked near the bottom of most Pac-10 statistical categories, remains a question mark.
Over the next 14 practices, Mazzone is expected to craft a quick-strike offense, similar to the style used at Texas Tech and Houston, where spacing, play-making and tempo are key.
"That's a fast-paced practice," Erickson said. "Offensively, that's what we're going to do and that's how it's going to be every day. That's the style we want to have. And for the first day, I thought it went pretty well. With the pace of everything, guys will get in shape, I can promise you that."
Quarterbacks Steven Threet and Brock Osweiler are battling to lead such an attack. Threet ran the first unit, but Erickson insisted that was only because the Michigan transfer won a coin flip earlier Tuesday. Osweiler, who played in six games last season as a true freshman, is expected to run the first unit Wednesday.
"I'm very excited," Threet said of the competition, "but I'm just a competitive person. Anytime I go out to practice, I'm trying to compete with whoever I'm playing against whether it's last year on the scout team or this year trying to win the starting job."
Osweiler is ready for the challenge.
"Last season . . . was more or less a rookie season, a learning season, but this season there's no excuses," he said. "You got to come in and I have to understand the speed of the game. I got to understand the offense, the protection, stuff to where I can make this offense run. Last year we stuttered and we didn't put up a lot of points, but this year we're not going to stand for that."
George Bell, a 6-foot-3 receiver from Southwestern Community College in California, was hard to ignore. His speed and size could make him a factor. Erickson also praised Jamal Miles, who will be used at both running back and receiver.
Defensively, end James Brooks, linebackers Shelly Lyons and Vontaze Burfict and safety Eddie Elder, a junior-college transfer, had nice moments.
"This is the first day," linebacker Brandon Magee said, "and I think we did pretty well. We could've run to the ball a little bit more, but energy is the key to success, and it's all there."