August 28, 2013

Florence practices for first time



When Eriquel Florence dressed out and practiced for the first time at Arizona State Tuesday it gave the program a 100 percent success rate with the enrollment and eligibility of its 2013 signing class.

That doesn't necessarily mean all players are ready to immediately contribute. Florence, a junior linebacker out of Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif., is an example.

"It's going to be slow going," Sun Devil coach Todd Graham candidly said of Florence following the workout.

After the session, Florence ran a number of 50 yard sprints as he tries to work himself back into playing shape and lose some weight.

"From the jump it was tiring," Florence said. "It's something that I'm really not used to. I'm most definitely not where I need to be. But with these great conditioning coaches we are going to get me where I need to be."

Florence was the last of the team's 23 scholarship additions for the fall semester to be cleared.

"I had a late start class," Florence said. "I was finished up, but I was waiting for the teacher to post the grade and all of the other paperwork to go through."

Despite missing a three critical weeks of fall camp and not being in playing shape, Florence is hoping to quickly adapt and get into the mix for playing time at linebacker.

"Most definitely not redshirting," said Florence, who has three years to play two seasons as a Sun Devil. "They are looking for me to come in, catch up with the rest of the team and come in and be a playmaker."

Florence started Tuesday's session getting reps at depth at the SAM position in the individual position walk-through. WILL and Devil are other options depending on what coaches see from him on practice film.

"I bring a good run stop," Florence said. "I bring passion. I'm a team guy because I'm always for my team. Most importantly, I'm willing to come out and do whatever my team or my coaches need me to do."

Notes

  • Freshman Cameron Smith was again not wearing a green jersey Tuesday and taking reps in individuals with the other receivers. Graham said he's an option at the 9-receiver position behind sophomore Jaelen Strong.

  • Senior wide receiver Kevin Ozier took reps behind Strong today at the 9-receiver spot in the walk-through period. He usually has been taking reps at the 5-receiver, and senior Alonzo Agwuenu has typically backed Strong with the second-team. Ozier said he will be called on to play both spots.

  • Senior tight end Darwin Rogers was in a green jersey and did not participate during practice but did condition for the first time since suffering a "ding" nearly a week ago.

  • Junior safety Damarious Randall was still in green and worked on the bike. Graham said he should be fully cleared to practice next week.



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