April 3, 2007
Mid-spring defensive report by position group
Arizona State saw many more defensive starters leave from its 2006 roster than key offensive personnel. The defensive line has added two JUCO transfers and seen several players move to the group from offensive line. At linebacker, a transfer appears to be holding down the middle, while a number of sophomores are expected to play major roles, including Ryan McFoy who recently moved to the position. In the secondary, redshirt junior Troy Nolan has made a big impact, and the cornerback spot opposite Justin Tryon is up for grabs.
The three players that have separated themselves from the competition to this point in the spring are Dexter Davis, Kellen Mills and Luis Vasquez. Davis, a 6-foot-2, 247 pound sophomore who led the team in numerous defensive categories last season as a redshirt freshman, appears to have a virtual lock on one starting spot. He's extremely proficient technically with great hands and footwork, and exception body control and balance. Mills, at 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds, is known as a workout freak who is relentless in everything he does. The senior isn't as athletically gifted as some of his peers, but he's technically proficient and he has a motor that doesn't quit. Vasquez is very quick and he carries 247 pounds effortlessly on his 6-foot-3 frame. He could be the best speed rusher of the group. Eric Tanner and Wes Evans are the others battling for spots on the two-deep. Tanner, at 6-foot-2, 253 pounds, struggled a bit with certain technical aspects early in spring ball, but he's come a lot way and has had increasingly frequent impressive reps in full team drills. Evans has gained substantial weight and now looks the part of a defensive end, at 6-foot-3 and 253 pounds. He plays very freely and is another high motor player. As a junior who has not made much of an impact to this point in his college career, Evans appears well-position to make a legitimate attempt at making the two-deep.
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