George Bell is hoping his No. 13 jersey can bring some good fortune to an Arizona State offense that hasn't had much to brag about over the last two seasons.
Bell, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder, had 54 catches for 805 yards and four touchdowns while wearing the allegedly unlucky number at Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista, Calif., last season.
"This is my favorite number to wear," Bell said. "I wore it in junior college and was glad that I could have it here too. I believe it's a lucky number, or at least for me anyway."
Bell is expected to be a big play threat on offense for the Sun Devils in a new up-tempo pass-heavy offense under the direction of first-year offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone.
"George can really make a difference," Sun Devil head coach Dennis Erickson said. "He's got great speed, No. 1. He's got a lot to learn like any junior college player. He'll learn in the next  practices but he has a lot of physical talent and can really help us."
Moving up a level is always going to be an adjustment, but Bell's background at Southwestern gives him a bit of a leg up, as the program there ran a spread offense that wasn't too dissimilar from the once he's now learning.
"It's actually the exact same concepts I ran but some routes will be different," Bell said. "Like sometimes it'll be a hitch but in our junior college it will convert or sometimes it will be a hitch that can convert but at our junior college it will just be a hitch. So it's the same concepts but just a little different tweak on it. It's the same thing I'm used to, the only difference is the tempo is way faster than junior college. But I like it a lot. I like the offense.
"As soon as you get back to the line (after a play), you run it again. [Junior college] was kind of lenient. You had time to get back, set up. But no, it's catch, get back now let's run the play. I love this offense. It's made for receivers. It's made for us to get our hands on the ball. If we just keep doing what we're doing, you guys will see the numbers. The numbers will show just through the offense."
Even though ASU's record over the last two seasons is a combined 9-15, and the team is replacing its quarterback and two top receivers, Bell arrived in Tempe with the mindset ASU will have a chance to compete at a very high level during his two years of eligibility.
"Yeah, they lost some guys that did a couple things but they also have guys here that are just waiting to shine," Bell said. "So I mean the guys like [Gerell Robinson] and Kerry (Taylor) and T.J. (Simpson) and Brandon Smith, they're going to step up tremendous and that's what it's going to take for us to win.
"I'm going to compete no matter what. I'm not here to sit. I'm not here to just ride the bench or anything like that. I'm here to play, I'm here to compete and make this team better and get this national championship. So that's what I'm going to do. I'm not going to say I'm the best, I'm just going to say I'm going to work. I'm just really going to work hard."
During the first two practice days, Arizona State practice jerseys weren't the only ones uniforms on display at the Kajikawa Practice Facility. In a new approach from the past, Erickson decided to bring out officials to oversee several periods of practice.
"They're not going to control the dumb penalties like fights," Erickson said. "That's something we've got to control ourselves emotionally, and this team is determined to do that. But what it does is you're not going to have stupid offsides penalties. Are we holding in the secondary? When we get into pads, it will be even more of an interesting thing to see. I want to make sure we're lined up correctly. Those little things become big things in big games. Last year we had a couple of penalties that hurt us."
New look staff
Not only are the Sun Devils adjusting to a new scheme on offense, many of the players are adjusting to working with different position coaches than last season. Mazzone is coaching quarterbacks while Steve Broussard has replaced Eric Yarber with receivers, defensive coordinator Craig Bray has moved from linebackers to safeties -- where Matt Lubick coaches last season -- to make room for his son Trent Bray, a former all-conference linebacker at Oregon State, to coach linebackers.
"It's been good," Erickson said of the moves. "They're all a little bit different with what they do. Coach Bray has coaches safeties all his life and really for Trent he coached linebackers for a couple years. And (Broussard) is a very demanding guy. Mazzone, he knows what he wants to do. He's very detail oriented. You never get away with anything."