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Arizona State football players, coaches give thoughts entering season – The Arizona Republic

As Arizona State moves closer to its 2022 opener on Thursday against Northern Arizona, here’s a look back as some of the best quotes from the Sun Devils’ preseason camp:

ASU defensive line coach Robert Rodriguez on true freshman Robbie Harrison not knowing his own strength

“You gotta watch out that dude. We were doing a walkthrough drill and he almost caved my chest in. I corrected him and said, ‘You gotta come back to me.’ And that dude just stuck his hand, I didn’t do nothing. And the whole group is just like, ‘This dude is too strong for his own good.’ So he’s not allowed to have any puppies right now, or any like gerbils. So like if I had a baby I wouldn’t let him hold it for a while.”

ASU defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson on the impact of NIL on college football

“That’s what I see it as now. It’s free agency at our level now. You know, how much money you got? I don’t know. Who do I need to send you to? He’s over there. That’s all I can tell you. I hope you’re not playing for the money because if you are, depending on who you are, the quarterbacks are making all the money anyway. That didn’t change. Right? Well, I shouldn’t say that. (At USC), I mean, everybody making money over there. I wish we had some of that money.”

Senior linebacker Merlin Robertson on how he got in better physical shape for this season

“I stopped eating my kids’ snacks.”

Nesta Jade Silvera on DC Henderson’s focus on “effort and attitude”

“Donnie (Henderson) came in and he was talking effort and attitude.  I told him you got to add the T, for toughness because we gotta EAT. That’s what we have to bring as a defense, add that T to it.”

Fullback Case Hatch on coach Edwards

“I’ll got to bat for Herm every day of the week. He’s the greatest mentor I’ve ever had. He cares more about the players than the game of football. It’s all about growing the person first and then seeing the success on the field.  With coach Herm it’s been crazy. I know he’s looking to prove something, he is. He is looking to get better, looking to do things for the team and help us have a successful year. I know Herm for who he is and what he does for our team and that’s what I respect. People don’t see what happens in this building every day.”

Defensive end Michael Matus on a new hobby of candle-making

“Me and my roommates would go to Bath and Body Works when they’re having a huge sale and buy like 25 things. Candles are really nice to have in the house right. The room always smells good, so it always smells good and I enjoy candles so the first thing, I’m spending a lot of many on candles, let me see if I can make my own and then I can make whatever I want.” 

LaDarius Henderson on low expectations of the Sun Devils by others

“We already heard from every outlet possible that we suck. We’re not going to win any games. We’re horrible. We hear it from ex-players, and just all type of people. We’re done with that. We’re playing a game. We know who we are. We’re just locking in. Everybody’s gonna see. We’re not overly concerned with what people think of us. We know who we are.”

Omarr Norman-Lott on deciding to return to ASU after going into transfer portal

“I wanted to explore my options and I just found out that ASU was best for me. Going forward it’s going to be best for me. That was it. Speaking with a lot of coaches around, I was able to articulate myself better to them than they were to me. So I thought there was better value in (defensive line) coach Rod (Robert Rodriguez) than whatever little NIL deal was on the table, I found more value in coach Rod.”

Linebacker Kyle Soelle on whether Robertson is an honorary Soelle brother since he and brother Connor make up two-thirds of he starting linebacker trio.

“Anybody on the team is an honorary Soelle brother.”

Defensive back Alijah Gammage on the coaching style of new secondary coach Aaron Fletcher

“He allows us to use our tools we had before while giving us a new set of tools we can pick and choose from. It’s a good, open family.”

Reach the reporter at or 602 444-4783.  Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports.

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