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Dec. 12, 1997

Sun Devils Set for Sun Bowl Battle with Iowa

  • The 64th Norwest Sun Bowl
  • Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4) vs. #16 Arizona State Sun Devils (8-3)
  • Dec. 31, 1997
  • Sun Bowl Stadium * El Paso, Texas
  • 12:15 MST * CBS-TV
Steve Campbell
Junior quarterback Steve Campbell will make his first career start in the Norwest Sun Bowl. (File Photo)

Arizona State makes its second consecutive and 17th all-time bowl appearance in the 64th Norwest Sun Bowl. The 16th-ranked Sun Devils face Big Ten foe Iowa December 31, 1997 at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas. CBS-TV will broadcast the Sun Bowl for the 30th year to a national television audience. ASU completed the regular season with an 8-3 overall record, finishing third in the Pac-10 with a 6-2 conference mark. It is ASU's third trip to the Sun Bowl. ASU made its first-ever post-season appearances in the Sun Bowl in 1940 and 1941. ASU is 9-6-1 in its previous 16 bowl games.

The Hawkeyes: Iowa will be making its third straight bowl appearance and the 14th postseason appearance under head coach Hayden Fry in the last 17 years. The Hawkeyes ended their regular season with a 7-4 record and in a tie for sixth-place in the Big Ten with a 4-4 conference mark. It is Iowa's 16th all-time bowl appearance and its second in the Sun Bowl. Iowa defeated Washington, 38-18 in the 1995 Sun Bowl.The Hawkeyes are 8-6-1 all-time in bowl games, 6-6-1 under Fry.

The Sun Bowl: The Norwest Sun Bowl is the fourth-oldest postseason bowl game in college football with only the Rose, Orange and Sugar Bowls having a longer history. It has been played each year since 1936 when Hardin-Simmons and New Mexico State battled to a 14-14 tie on January 1, 1936, in the innaugural Sun Bowl. The Pac-10 is 4-4-1 in nine Sun Bowl appearances since 1975. In last year's Sun Bowl, Stanford knocked off Michigan State 38-0.

ASU Bowl History: Arizona State's bowl history began at the Sun Bowl as the then Bulldogs appeared in back-to-back Sun Bowls in 1940 and '41. ASU and Catholic University tied, 0-0, in 1940, while ASU lost to Case Western Reserve 26-13, in 1941. With this year's appearance, the Sun Bowl becomes only the second bowl game ASU has gone to more than twice. ASU has visited the Fiesta Bowl six times while appearing in the Rose and Salad Bowls twice each.

Pretty Good Of Late: ASU has been on a roll of late. The Sun Devils won four of their final five games in 1995, put together an 11-1 record in '96 and posted an 8-3 regular season record in 1997. ASU's back-to-back 8+ win seasons are the first for the Sun Devils since 1985-86.

  • ASU has won 23 of its last 28 games, including 19 of 22 regular-season contests.
  • ASU has won 11 of its last 13 home games.
  • ASU has won 10 of 11 road games.
  • ASU has won 14 of of its last 16 Pac-10 games.
  • ASU has won 6 of of its last 8 non-conference games.

Among the Best: ASU's 23-5 record in its last 28 games is among the top 10 marks in the country over that span. Here's a look at the top teams in the country over their last 28 games:

Record Over Last 28 Games
    Team           Record   Pct.
    Nebraska        26-2    .929
    Tennessee       25-3    .893
    Florida         24-4    .857
    Florida State   24-4    .857
    Arizona State   23-5    .821
    Kansas State    23-5    .821
    North Carolina  23-5    .821
    Ohio State      23-5    .821
    Penn State      23-5    .821
    LSU             22-6    .786
    Virginia Tech   22-6    .786

Head Coach Bruce Snyder: In his sixth season at the helm of ASU's football program ... has led the Sun Devils to 23 wins in their last 28 games and two straight bowl appearance ... is 2-1 in bowl games ... in 1996, guided the Sun Devils to their second Pac-10 championship, fourth undefeated regular season and second Rose Bowl ... the consensus National Coach of the Year in 1996 as well as Pac-10 Coach of the Year ... compiled 6-5 records in his first, second and fourth seasons in Tempe (1992, 1993, 1995) and a 3-8 mark in 1994 ... prior to posting a 40-27 record in six years at ASU, he was 39-37-1 at Utah State (1976-81) and 29-24-4 at California (1987-91) ... guided Cal to a 10-2 mark and No. 8 ranking in 1991 as the Bears defeated ACC champ Clemson in the Citrus Bowl ... Cal had been to just one bowl since 1958 prior to Snyder guiding the Bears to two consecutive bowl wins in '90 & '91 ... led Utah State to a pair of conference titles in his seven years ... was L.A. Rams running back coach for four years (1983-86), during which he tutored Eric Dickerson as he set the NFL single-season rushing record ... served as an assistant at Oregon, New Mexico State, Utah State and USC ... Snyder earned his 100th career win in ASU's 56-14 win at Arizona last year ... prior to the Rose Bowl, signed a new contract with ASU through January 6, 2002.

Series Summary: This will be the first meeting between Iowa and Arizona State. The Hawkeyes and Sun Devils have signed a contract for a home-and-home series in the years 2003 (at Iowa) and 2004 (at ASU).

Over the Air: CBS will broadcast the Sun Bowl for the 30th consecutive season. Tim Ryan and Dave Logan will call the game. KMVP (860 AM) is the flagship station for the Sun Devil radio network. Tom Dillon, the Arizona Sportscaster-of-the-Year 16 years running (1981-96), and the voice of the Sun Devils since 1979, once again will handle the play-by-play duties. Former Sun Devil QB and 1987 Rose Bowl MVP Jeff Van Raaphorst (1983-86) returns for his second season as the color analyst. KMVP has teamed with AudioNet to provide all Sun Devil radio broadcasts on the internet. Each broadcast can be accessed at www.audionet.com/schools/asu.

The Polls: Arizona State is tabbed at No. 16 in the AP poll and 18th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Iowa is not ranked.

Injury Update: ASU quarterback Ryan Kealy will miss the Sun Bowl after undergoing successful surgery on December 1 to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. Kealy suffered the injury in Arizona State's season finale against Arizona. No other Sun Devil that has played this season is expected to miss the Sun Bowl.

Senior Salute: The Sun Bowl will be the last game for 21 ASU seniors who have compiled a 28-17 record in the past four years, won a Pac-10 championship, recorded an undefeated regular season in 1996 and earned ASU back-to-back bowl bids. The Class of 1997 includes:

    Vince Amey, DL      Damien Richardson, SS
    Jeff Boyer, LB      Zack Romero, TE
    Malchi Crawford, RE Shane Shafer, LB
    Glen Gable, RT      Jason Simmons, CB
    Jeff Hoffman, WR    Thomas Simmons, FS
    Anthony Jones, OL   Creig Spann, WR
    Michael Martin, TB  Jeremy Staat, DL
    Hamilton Mee, DL    Pat Tillman, LB
    Kyle Murphy, OG     Kevin Tommasini, FB
    Robert Nycz, PK     Marcus Williams, P
    Paul Reynolds, OLB

Looking Ahead: Thirteen of ASU's 22 starters heading into the Sun Bowl will return for next season including eight on offense. Of the 44 players listed on ASU's two-deep for the Sun Bowl, 33 will return next season including 18 of 22 on offense.

Pat Tillman
Senior Pat Tillman closes out a remarkable ASU career at the Sun Bowl. (File Photo)

Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Linebacker Pat Tillman was named the 1997 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year this week. Tillman joins Jake Plummer as the only Sun Devils to receive conference player-of-the-year honors in ASU history. Tillman is the one of three players in the league to have been named to both the first-team all-academic and all-conference teams.

All-Academic Team: LB Pat Tillman (3.82, Marketing) and SS Damien Richardson (3.26, Bio-Engineering) and Zack Romero (3.67, Graduate) were named to the 1997 Pac-10 All-Academic team. Tillman and Richardson were also named to the GTE Academic All-District VIII Football Team. Richardson, whose 71 tackles is second only to Tillman's team-leading 93, is a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection. Tillman, one of just three Pac-10 players to be a first-team all-conference and first-team all-academic selection, is a two-time All-Academic Pac-10 pick and was an Academic All-District member and second-team All-American last year.

All-Conference: Sixteen Sun Devils earned all-conference honors in 1997. Tillman heads a list of six first-team players from ASU, second-most in the league to Washington and tying the most first-team selections for ASU in its Pac-10 history. The complete list:

    First Team                  Second Team
    OL Kyle Murphy, Sr.         DT Jeremy Staat, Sr.
    OL Grey Ruegamer, Jr.       DB Jason Simmons, Sr.
    OLB Pat Tillman, Sr.        DB Damien Richardson, Sr.
    DB Mitchell Freedman, Jr.   PK Robert Nycz, Sr.
    AP J.R. Redmond, So.
    P Marcus Williams, Sr.

Honorable Mention: DE Vince Amey, Sr., OT Glen Gable, Sr., DB Courtney Jackson, So., WR Lenzie Jackson, Jr., TB Michael Martin, Sr., DE Hamilton Mee, Sr., TE Zack Romero, Sr.

On A Roll: Replacing the likes of Jake Plummer, Keith Poole, Terry Battle and Juan Roque--all 1997 NFL draft picks--was not an easy task, but ASU's offense has grown into its own in 1997. The difference can be seen in comparing the numbers between ASU's first five games (when ASU was 3-2) and its last six games (5-1).

    Category           Last 6  First 5   Difference
    Points P/G           34.3    20.2       + 14.1
    First Downs P/G      20.6      18        + 2.6
    Yards Rushing P/G   223.0   158.8       + 64.2
    Yards Passing P/G   235.3   185.4       + 49.9
    Total Yards P/G     458.3   344.2      + 114.1
    Avg. Gain Per Play    6.1     4.8        + 1.3
    3rd Down Conv.         40%     34%         + 6%
    Touchdowns P/G        4.0     2.2        + 1.8
    Turnovers P/G        1.67    2.40       - 0.73
    Time of Possesion   28:48   30:58       - 1:10

Defensive Stand: ASU's defense has handed in some mighty impressive performances in 1997. Arizona State is first in the Pac-10 in scoring defense, fourth in rushing defense and third in pass efficiency defense. The ASU defense gave up 14 or fewer points to the opposing offense in seven of ASU's 11 games this season. In a 23-12 win at Miami, ASU's defense held the Miami offense to two field goals, the first time the Hurricanes had been held without an offensive touchdown in the Orange Bowl since 1984. BYU's 13 points was the fewest it has scored in 25 games. The Sun Devils held Oregon State to 20 yards rushing, the fewest a Beaver squad had run for since 1989. ASU limited USC to seven points, 15 first downs and 214 total yards - zero, four and 50 in the second half. Stanford's 14 points was the fewest it had scored since losing to ASU 41-9 in 1996. Against Washington State, the Sun Devils held what was the second-best offense in the nation coming into the game to its second lowest point total of the season.

ASU's Defense Game-by-Game
    Opp.          Rush Yds.  Pass Yds.  Total   Pts.
    New Mexico St.  107          91     198     10
    at Miami         68         220     288     *6
    BYU              99         328     427     13
    at Oregon St.    20         193     213     *3
    at Washington   240         150     390     26
    USC             114         100     214      7
    at Stanford     114         285     399     14
    WSU              51         447     498     31
    at Cal          126         173     299    *14
    Oregon          179         229     408     31
    Arizona         123         247     370     28
    Totals PG       112.8       223.9   336.7  *16.6
    *does not include points scored by opponents defenses 
    (20 total: 6 vs. Miami, 7 vs. Oregon State, 7 vs. California)

Tillman A Terror: Senior outside linebacker Pat Tillman, the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and ASU's Defensive MVP, led Arizona State's defense on and off the field in 1997. Tillman, a second-team All-Pac-10 selection in 1996, was second on the team in tackles last year with 91. A first-team All-American selection this year, he leads the team and is fourth in the conference with 93 stops including four sacks and 15 tackles for loss. Tillman was ASU's leading tackler in seven of their 11 games this season, registering a season-high 13 tackles against both USC and Arizona. He earned Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors after his game at Stanford, when he registered 11 tackles, 10 unassisted, and three tackles for loss. Tillman is also a standard for his teammates in the classroom, where he has a 3.82 GPA in marketing and was named a first-team All-Academic Pac-10 and GTE Academic All-District performer. Burger King also recognized his accomplishments by awarding a $10,000 scholarship to ASU in his name.

Tillman Game-by-Game Tackles
    Opp.               UA  AT  Total  TFL-Yds.
    New Mexico State    1   3    4      1-2
    at Miami            3   4    7      0-0
    BYU                 5   7   12      2-12
    at Oregon St.       5   1    6      2-15
    at Washington       0   1    1      1-3
    USC                 4   9   13      2-3
    at Stanford        10   1   11      3-12
    WSU                 2   2    4      0-0
    at Cal             10   0   10      1-7
    Oregon              5   7   12      1-2
    Arizona             2  11   13      2-4
    Totals             47  46   93     15-60

Triple Threat: Head coach Bruce Snyder "loves" tailbacks and his 1997 crop of Michael Martin, J.R. Redmond and Marlon Farlow must appear to be a three-headed monster for ASU opponents. Add fullback Jeff Paulk to the mix, and you have a lethal combination. Combine Martin, Redmond and Farlow's numbers for an ASU tailback total and you get 2,177 yards and a 6.0 per carry average.

The Goods on J.R.: J.R. Redmond is ASU's most dangerous offensive weapon, as evidenced by his selection as ASU's Offensive MVP and to the All-Pac-10 first team as an all-purpose player. The sophomore tailback is 12th in the nation and third in the Pac-10 with 159.0 all-purpose yards per game. Also a conference honorable mention selection as a running back, Redmond leads the Pac-10's top rushing squad with 86.5 rushing yards per contest. He also leads the team in punt return and kickoff return yardage and is fifth on the team with 15 catches. Redmond's big-play ability has been evident as he has reeled off runs of 50, 54 and 93 yards in 1997. His 93-yard touchdown against New Mexico State, ASU's longest run this season, tied the fifth-longest run from scrimmage in ASU history and earned Redmond the AT&T Long Distance Run of the Week award. Redmond also turned in the Sun Devils biggest rushing day this season against New Mexico State with career-high 176-yard total.

Redmond Game-by-Game Rushing
    Game                No. Yds.  Avg  TD
    New Mexico State    10  176* 17.6   1
    at Miami            12  105   8.8   1
    BYU                 17   66   5.1   0
    at Oregon St.       18   77   4.3   0
    at Washington       21   76   3.6   1
    USC                 12   48   4.0   1
    at Stanford         DNP - Injured (Hip Strain)
    WSU                  8   35   4.4   0
    at Cal              27* 114   4.2   1
    Oregon              11  127  11.5   1
    Arizona             10   41   4.1   1
    Totals             142  865   6.1   7
    *career high
    Redmond Game-by-Game All Purpose                       Per   Per
    Game            Rush     Rec.   Punts    KO   Total    Touch Game
    NMSU            10-176   1-13    3-18   2-57  16-264   16.5
    at Miami        12-105   5-46    2-53   3-49  22-253   12.1
    BYU             13-66    0-0     2-26   4-90  19-182    9.6
    at Oregon St.   18-77    1-18    2-1    1-21  22-117    5.3
    at Washington   21-76    0-0     5-52   0-0   26-128    4.9
    USC             12-48    3-17    1-8    1-14   17-87    5.1
    at Stanford     DNP - Injured (Hip Strain)
    WSU              8-35    3-36    0-0    0-0    11-71    6.5
    at Cal          27-114   2-56    6-47   1-47  36-264    7.3
    Oregon          11-127   0-0     1-6    1-13  13-146   11.2
    Arizona         10-41    0-0     2-25   1-12   13-78    6.0
    Totals         142-865  15-186  24-236 14-303 195-1590  8.2  159.0
    Top Five Runs in ASU history
    1. 99 yds., Max Anderson, vs. Wyoming, 1967 (TD)
    2. 98 yds., Mark Malone, vs. Utah State, 1979 (TD)
    3. 97 yds., Art Malone, vs. Utah, 1968 (TD)
    4. 94 yds., Hascall Henshaw, vs. Case Western Reserve, 1940 (TD)
    5. 93 yds., J.R. Redmond, vs. New Mexico St. , 1997 (TD)
                Tom Dekellis, vs. Whittier, 1938 (TD)

Follow His Lead: Senior tailback Michael Martin may well be the emotional leader of this year's Sun Devil team. Martin returned from a season-ending neck injury he suffered last season, to rush for a career-high 862 yards this season. Martin finished the season strong, notching four 100-yard games in ASU's last five games. In ASU's last five games, Martin rushed for 509 yards, averaging 6.9 yards per carry, even though he missed most of the Cal game with an injury. Martin's best game of the season came against Oregon when he ran for 158 yards on 16 carries including a career-high 83-yard touchdown that earned him the AT&T Long Distance Run of the Week. Martin returned to the starting lineup this season in ASU's season opener against New Mexico State after being sidelined after the sixth game of 1996. Martin in the starting lineup is a good sign for ASU as the Sun Devils are 17-2 with Martin in the starting lineup. Martin has continued to battle back from injuries this season as a concussion and pinched nerve prevented Martin from practicing and starting against Washington, but he returned to the starting lineup against USC. He suffered a neck strain against Cal which held him out of the game after 3 carries, but he returned against Oregon. Martin has rushed for over 1,918 yards in his Sun Devil career and he has averaged 82.2 yards in 19 games as a starter.

Martin 1997 Game-By-Game & Career Totals
    Team            Att. Yds.   Avg. TD
    New Mexico St.  15    64    4.3   1
    Miami           26   103    4.0   0
    BYU             16    43    2.7   1
    at Oregon St.   14    66    4.7   0 (injured, pinched nerve)
    USC             12    56    4.7   0
    at Stanford     23   124    5.4   1
    WSU             20   111    5.6   0
    at Cal           3    14    4.7   0 (injured, neck strain)
    Oregon          16   158    9.9   2
    Arizona         12   102    8.5   0
    
    1997 Total     161   862    5.4   5
    1996            95   475    5.0   1
    1995           138   579      5
    1993             1     2    2.0   0
    Career         395  1918    4.9  11

Campbell Takes Over: Junior quarterback Steve Campbell takes over the starting quarterback duties for the Sun Bowl with Ryan Kealy out with a knee injury. Campbell, a native of Corona, Calif., played most of the Arizona game after Kealy was hurt and completed 7-of-23 passes for 122 yards, one touchdown and one interception while being sacked four times. Campbell saw action in six games this season and totaled 13 completions in 37 attempts for 202 yards, 2 TDs and 3 interceptions. Campbell saw action in ASU's season-opener prior to Kealy taking over full-time. He then spelled a struggling Kealy at the end of the first-half of ASU's game at Oregon State, saw mop-up duty in ASU's 35-7 win over USC and filled in for an injured Kealy against Cal and Arizona. Campbell did see limited action as Jake Plummer's back-up in both 1995 and 1996.

Campbell in 1997
    Game            Att. Comp. Yds. TD  Int.
    New Mexico St.   7    3     43   1   0
    Oregon State     3    1     11   0   1
    USC              2    1     11   0   0
    California       2    1     15   0   0
    Arizona         23    7    122   1   2
    Totals          37   13    202   2   3
    Career          61   24    315   0   0

With Kealy at the Helm: Redshirt freshman Ryan Kealy, a Sporting News first-team Freshman All-American, distinguished himself as the top freshman quarterback in ASU history and among the best in Pac-10 history this season. Kealy won a battle with junior Steve Campbell for the starting QB job in fall camp by showing the poise and promise he displayed since starting the season-opener against New Mexico State. After ASU opened up its offense for the USC game, Kealy responded. In ASU's last six games, Kealy was 94 of 169 (.556) for 1,264 yards (210.7 per game) with 11 TDs, 3 INTs and a 136.4 pass efficiency rating. Overall, Kealy posted a 126.94 efficiency rating, completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 2,137 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Freshman QBs: Ryan Kealy turned in the best year a freshman QB has had at ASU and among the best in Pac-10 history. Kealy broke ASU freshman records for completions, touchdowns and yards. Kealy's performance against USC, the sixth game of his career, included 21 completions, 3 TDs and 281 yards. Jake Plummer did not have a 21-completion day until the 14th game of his career, a three-TD day until the 16th game of his career or 280+ passing-yard game until the 17th game of his career. Here's a look at the top four freshman QBs at ASU followed by the best in Pac-10 history.

Freshman QBs at ASU
    Name, Year          Att. Comp. TD  Int.  Yds.
    Ryan Kealy, 1997    297  162   15    7  2137
    Jake Plummer, 1993  199  102    9    7  1650
    Grady Benton, 1992  225  149    8    9  1707
    Dennis Sproul, 1974 199   96   10   13  1438
    Leading Freshman QBs in Pac-10 History
    Yards
    Name, School            Year    Yds.
    Tommy Maddox, UCLA      1990    2682
    Todd Marinovich, USC    1989    2400
    Ryan Kealy, ASU         1997    2137
    John Paye, Stanford     1983    1971
    Bill Musgrave, Oregon   1987    1936
    Touchdowns
    Name, School                Year   TDs
    Ortege Jenkins, Arizona     1997    19
    Tommy Maddux, UCLA          1990    17
    Todd Marinovich, USC        1989    16
    Ryan Kealy, ASU             1997    15
    Steve Stenstrom, Stanford   1991    15
    Completions
    Name, School                Year    Comp.
    Todd Marinovich, USC        1989    219
    Tommy Maddux, UCLA          1990    182
    Ryan Kealy, ASU             1997    162
    John Paye, Stanford         1983    150
    Grady Benton, ASU           1992    149
Jeremy Staat
Senior Jeremy Staat was voted the top defensive lineman in the Pac-10 by the league's offensive lineman. (File Photo)

Stellar Staat: Jeremy Staat took many by suprise in 1997, including Pac-10 coaches who voted the conferences' third-leading sack-man a second-team all-conference selection while the Football Writers Association tabbed him a first-team All-American. Staat, the only former JC transfer on the writers' All-American team, recorded 9.5 sacks in 1997 and 20 tackles for loss. He was third on the team with a total of 67 tackles.

Superb Secondary: While other defensive backfields in the conference and nation have been more heralded, very few can claim to be as effective as ASU's secondary. The starting cast of Courtney Jackson, Jason Simmons, Damien Richardson and Mitchell Freedman each earned All-Pac-10 accolades as Freedman was named to the first team, Simmons and Richardson to the second team, while Jackson received honorable mention acclaim. ASU's secondary suffocated opposing teams' passing games this season. Only three teams managed to complete more than 50 percent of its passes against ASU and five were held under 200 yards passing. Opposing QBs have combined for a 107.4 efficiency mark. Against the Pac-10, ASU has limited the best passing conference in the nation to 127-of-274 (.464) in the air while picking 14 passes. Here's a look at how the opposition's starting quarterbacks and a few of the Pac-10's top receivers have fared against the Sun Devils:

    Starting QB           Comp. Att. Yds. TD   INT
    Ty Houghtaling, NMSU    10   26   91   1    2
    Ryan Clement, Miami     14   28  175   0    1
    Kevin Feterik, BYU      17   30  328   0    0
    Tim Alexander, OSU      17   41  193   0    2
    Brock Huard, UW          8   19  150   2    1
    John Fox, USC            8   23   70   1    1 
    Chad Hutchinson, Stan.  20   35  214   0    2
    Ryan Leaf, WSU          24   49  447   3    1
    Justin Vedder, Cal      17   31  173   1    2
    Akili Smith, Ore        14   34  147   1    2
    Ortege Jenkins, Ariz.    7   19  194   3    2
    Pac-10 Receivers       Rec. Yds.  TD
    Roddy Tompkins, OSU     5    66   0
    Jerome Pathon, UW       2    58   1
    R. Jay Soward, USC      2    19   0
    Billy Miller, USC       3    21   0
    Troy Walters, Stan.     8   113   0
    Chris Jackson, WSU      4    73   1
    Kevin McKenzie, WSU     6    75   1
    Bobby Shaw, Cal         6    76   1
    Pat Johnson, Ore        2    28   0
    Dennis Northcutt, Ariz. 2    52   1

Safety Valves: ASU coaches know they can take some chances because of the two safeties they have in the secondary. Senior Damien Richardson was a member of the Jim Thorpe Award "watch list" as one of the best defensive backs in college football. The strong safety started 33 straight games for ASU and is second on the team with 71 tackles. Richardson, an All-Academic Pac-10 selection the past two years and a 1997 GTE Academic All-District VIII member, was a second-team All-Pac-10 pick . Junior free safety Mitchell Freedman was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection as he led ASU with four interceptions and was fifth on the team with 58 tackles including a career-high 15 tackles at Washington. A fierce hitter, his sack of WSU's Ryan Leaf and subsequent fumble that was returned for a touchdown was one of the biggest plays of ASU's season.

Looking for Lenzie: Lenzie Jackson has become ASU's most consistent and dangerous pass catcher as the junior wide receiver led the team with 53 catches for 733 yards and five touchdowns. Jackson set career and ASU season-highs with nine catches and two touchdowns against Washington State and 132 receiving yards against USC. His 53 catches ties him for the sixth-most receptions in ASU history as he is the ninth receiver in ASU history to pull in 50 or more catches in a season. Including the Rose Bowl, Jackson has a catch in 24 straight games and has 100 in his career.

ASU Single-Season Reception Records
    Name, Year             Rec. Yds.    TD
    Ron Fair, 1989          64  1,082    4
    J.D. Hill, 1970         58    908   10
    Keith Poole, 1995       55  1,036    7
    Eric Guliford, 1991     55    801    2
    Greg Hudson, 1973       54    788    7
    Lenzie Jackson, 1997    53    733    5
    John Mistler, 1980      53    573    1
    John Jefferson, 1977    53    912    8
    Morris Owens, 1973      50  1,076    9

Not Just a Blocking Bates: Sophomore tight end Kendrick Bates has proven his 6-4, 243-pound frame can do more than block. Bates is third on the team with 23 catches for 320 yards, averaging 13.9 yards per catch. Among Pac-10 tight ends, Bates is second only to Oregon's Blake Spence in catches and yardage.

Pac-10 Tight Ends
    Player                 Rec.  Yds.  TDs
    Blake Spence, Oregon    36   573    5
    Kendrick Bates, ASU     23   320    1
    Cam Cleeland, UW        19   276    2
    Mike Grieb, UCLA        18   218    2
    Love Jefferson, WSU     14   177    3

Snyder Climbs ASU Coaching Charts: Head coach Bruce Snyder completes his sixth season at ASU after becoming the second-winningest coach in ASU history/. Snyder surpassed Darryl Rogers, who won 37 games in five seasons during the early '80's. Snyder's sixth year of service makes him only the fourth coach at ASU to have a tenure of more than five seasons. Frank Kush's 22 seasons and 176 wins are the most in Sun Devil history while McCreary (7 seasons, 1923-29) and ASU's first football coach, Fred Irish (8 seasons), each stayed longer than a half-decade.

    Coach           Years           Record
    Frank Kush      1958-79         176-54-1
    Bruce Snyder    1992-Present     40-27-0
    Darryl Rogers   1980-84          37-18-1

The Stretch Run: Finishing strong has been a Sun Devil trait during the Snyder era at ASU. The Sun Devils are 12-7 in November under Snyder, but three of those losses came in one year -- 1994. Other than that year, ASU has finished strong under Snyder.

Record in Final Five Regular Season Games Under Snyder
    Year   Record   Note
    1992     3-2    Won Final Two
    1993     4-1    Includes wins over UW & UCLA
    1994     1-4    Finished season 3-8
    1995     4-1    Began Stretch of 23 wins in 27 games
    1996     5-0    11-0 regular season
    1997     4-1    Outscored opponents 171-125
    Total   21-9
The Year After: ASU's failure to repeat as conference champions marks the fifth straight year the defending Pac-10 champion did not repeat. In fact, eight of the 10 schools have won or shared in at least one of the past six titles. The last champion to repeat was Washington as the Huskies captured titles from 1990-92. A look back at how the champion(s) have fared the following year:
    Year    Champion        Next Year
    1986    ASU             7-4-1, 4th
    1987    USC             10-2, 1st
            UCLA            10-2, 2nd
    1988    USC             9-2-1, 1st
    1989    USC             8-4-1, 2nd
    1990    Washington      12-0, 1st
    1991    Washington      9-3, 1st
    1992    Washington      7-4, ineligible
            Stanford        4-7, 7th
    1993    UCLA            5-6, 5th
            Arizona         8-4, 2nd
            USC             8-3-1, 2nd
    1994    Oregon          9-3, 3rd
    1995    USC             6-6, 5th
            Washington      9-3, 2nd
    1996    Arizona State   8-3, 3rd

On the Road Again: Arizona State's loss at Washington snapped the Sun Devils second-longest road winning streak in school history. ASU had won eight straight road games prior to its trip to Seattle. Under Bruce Snyder, the Sun Devils are 15-14 away from home, having won 10 of their last 11 and four of five this year. Four of ASU's first seven games were on the road this season where as last year the Sun Devils didn't venture away from Tempe until the sixth game of the season.

Home Field Advantage: Sun Devil Stadium has provided ASU with a significant home field edge since its inception in 1958. Arizona State is 197-64-3 (.752) all-time in Sun Devil Stadium and 9-2 since the playing surface was dedicated as Frank Kush Field. ASU has drawn six of the eight largest crowds in ASU history in the past two years, including a record 74,963 to the Rose Bowl-clinching win over California in 1996. ASU drew an average of 63,884 to seven home games in 1996, a jump of 15,003 from the previous season - the largest increase in the nation. This year, ASU drew the fifth-largest crowd in ASU history to the Arizona game (73,682) and the sixth-largest to the WSU game (73,644). ASU bettered its 1996 average attendance by averaging 66,014 fans at home in 1997 -- 2,130 more than 1996.

Pac-10 Player of the Week: Five Sun Devils were named Pac-10 Player of the Week following outstanding performances this season:

    Player          Game        Note
    Robert Nycz     Miami       tied career high with 3 FGs
    Ryan Kealy      USC         21/34, 281 yds., 3 TDs
    Pat Tillman     Stanford    11 tackles (10 unassisted), INT
    Ryan Kealy*     WSU         23/36, 245 yds, 4 TDs
    Marcus Williams WSU         ASU record 53.6 yd. avg on 7 punts
    *first time a freshman QB has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week
     twice in one season since Todd Marinovich in 1989

Pac-10 All-Academic History: Arizona State ranks among the top four football programs in the conference in terms of receiving All-Academic recognition each season. Over the last eight years, only Stanford, Oregon and Washington have had more football players honored for their performance on and off the field. Below is a chart of the number of Pac-10 All-Academic players for each school from 1989-97.

    School      *Pac-10 All-Academic Players
    Stanford            82
    Oregon              59
    Washington          49
    Arizona State       44
    Oregon State        41
    UCLA                37
    Washington State    34
    California          33
    USC                 33
    Arizona             28
    *since 1989

Academic All-America: The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) has been selecting Academic All-Americans for more than 30 years in all sports. In the Pac-10, Arizona State has been among the all-time leaders in student-athletes honored academically on a national scale, maintaining a 3.2 GPA or higher. Here's how ASU ranks in the Pac-10:

    School       CoSIDA All-Americans
    UCLA                70
    Stanford            59
    Arizona             46
    Arizona State       36
    USC                 33
    Oregon              31
    Oregon State        26
    California          21
    Washington          21
    Washington State    21

Big Wins: In the past two seasons, ASU has defeated some of the most storied football programs in college football. In the last two seasons, the Sun Devils have defeated Washington, Nebraska, USC (twice) and Miami. Those four programs have combined for 2,385 wins, 118 bowl appearances and 17 national championships prior to this season, having won or shared 11 national titles since 1970. Heading into this season, the ASU football program ranked 17th on the all-time winning percentage list, winning 62.9 percent of their games in 85 seasons.

Fast Start: Arizona State has developed a habit of starting fast after it comes out of the lockeroom in 1997. ASU has outscored its opponents 54-20 in the first quarter, shutting out nine of 11 opponents and allowing only two touchdowns (both to Arizona). ASU also has a 74-41 edge in the third quarter, blanking six of 11. ASU has made its halftime adjustments well in each of the last two years as the Sun Devils outscored opponents 113-23 in the third quarter in 1996. The 113 points was the most by any Pac-10 team in the third quarter while the 23 points given up was the fewest by any Pac-10 team in any quarter.

Maroon Zone: Here's the numbers on how ASU's offense and defense have done inside the 20-yard line.

                      ASU   Pct.  Opponents  Pct.
    Inside 20          41   ---     25       ---
    Scored             34   .829    22       .880
    TD                 24   .585    15       .600
    TDs - Pass/Run  13/11          9/6
    FG                 10   .244     7       .280
    Turnover            3            1
    TOD                 1            0  
    Missed FG           2            0
    Blocked FG          0            1  
    End of half/game    1            1

Third Downs: Converting third downs is often dependent on how far you have to go. A look inside the numbers on ASU's and its opponents third-down efficiency:

    3rd & ...   1-5 yds.        6-10 yds.       Above 10        Total
    ASU         38/75 (.507)    20/59 (.339)    7/42 (.167)     65/176 (.377)
    Opp.        18/46 (.390)    19/70 (.234)    8/47 (.175)     45/163 (.276)

Automatic: Robert Nycz earned second-team All-Pac-10 acclaim and was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist for the second straight year in 1997. The senior placekicker has connected on 98 straight extra points and 124 of 125 in his career. Only a blocked attempt at California in 1995 has prevented him from being perfect. Nycz is also reliable when kicking for three points as he has split the uprights on 16 of 23 attempts this season with five of his seven misses coming beyond 40 yards. He has connected on 38 of 55 (.691) career field goal attempts. He is 26 of 31 from inside 40 yards and 12 of 24 beyond 40 in his career. He was named Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week Sept. 15 for his career-high three field goals at Miami.

Nycz Career Stats
Yr.     FGA FGM  Pct.  Long XPA XPM  Pct.  Pts.
1995    16  11  .688    48   32  31  .969   64  
1996    16  11  .688    46   60  60 1.000   93
1997    23  16  .696    46   33  33 1.000   81
Career  55  38  .691    48  125 124  .992  238
*Nycz was also 2/2 on PATs and 1/1 on FGs (37 yds.) in the 1997 Rose Bowl
Yr.       G    20-29   30-39   40-49    50+  Long
1995     11     4/4     3/4     4/6     0/2   48
1996     11     5/5     3/5     3/6     0/0   46
1997     11     4/4     7/9     5/7     0/3   46
Career   33    13/13   13/18   12/19    0/5   48

Williams A Weapon: Senior punter and kickoff man Marcus Williams was a valuable weapon for ASU this season and was awarded by being named to the first-team All-Pac-10 squad. Williams was third in the Pac-10 and 21st in the nation with a 43.6-yard punting average, but more importantly - he is the main reason ASU is eighth in the nation and tops in the conference with a 40.6 net punting average. Williams 43.6 yard average is the best at ASU since 1984 (John Meyer, 43.8) and he set a Sun Devil record with a 53.6 yard average on seven kicks against Washington State. Williams is also the Sun Devil kickoff man and has booted 30 touchbacks on 64 kickoffs as opponents are starting at an average of the 21.6 yard line after ASU kickoffs.

Special Teams: Here's some numbers pertaining to ASU's special teams:

         Kickoffs   Ret.  Avg. Against  TB  Avg. Opp. Starting Point
    ASU     64      32       19.5       30      21.6
    Opp.    44      31       20.7        8      30.4
           Punts    Ret   Avg. Against  FC  Downed  *-20 *-10  TB
    ASU     69      32        5.4       16    17     15    8    4
    Opp.    82      42        9.5       10    22     14    5    8
    *fair caught or downed (includes kicked out of bounds) inside 20/10

Turnover Edge: In its last 28 games (dating back to 1995), ASU has a turnover ratio of +29 (71-42). In that span, ASU has accumulated 32 INTs and 39 fumble recoveries while opponents have registered 23 interceptions and 19 recoveries. ASU is 23-5 during the stretch. This year, ASU is +7 in turnover margin and is +8 in its last five games.

Sure Hands: A big reason for ASU's turnover advantage over the last 28 games has been the sure-handed play of its running backs. Sun Devil running backs have lost only six fumbles on a rushing play since the start of the 1995 season, a span of 34 games. That's six fumbles lost in 1,565 rushing attempts. However, five of those lost fumbles have come in ASU's last 10 games.

Capitalizing: ASU has converted 29 opponent turnovers into 83 points while its opponents have used 22 ASU turnovers to score 57 points.

    Turnovers Resulting In ...
    ASU                     Opponents
    29      Opp. Turnovers      22
    83      Points              57
    10      TD                   7
     4      FG                   3  
     8      Punt                 4
     3      MFG                  1
     2      Turnover             3
     0      TO on Downs          2
     2      End of Half/Game     2

The Century Mark: ASU had at least one person rush for 100 or more yards in seven of its 11 games in 1997, winning six of those seven games. ASU is 222-37-5 (.850) all-time when it has someone top the century mark and is 23-5 (.821) since Bruce Snyder's arrival in Tempe.

Double Whammy: ASU had two backs rush for over 100 yards in the same game three times in 1997, the first time since 1973 that ASU has accomplished that feat more than twice. ASU's Michael Martin and J.R. Redmond each ran for over 100 yards against Miami, the first time that had happened to the Hurricanes since 1979. Against Stanford, Martin joined Marlon Farlow in both topping the 100-yard mark. Martin and Redmond paired again against Oregon to each to the century-mark. With those three 100-yard combos, ASU has had two rushers over 100 yards in the same game 35 times in its history, compiling a record of 33-1-1. This is the first year since 1973 that more than one combination of backs has combined for over 100 yards. Woody Green, Ben Malone and Fred Williams--in some combination--paired to rush for over 100 yards each five times. That was also the last year it has happened more than three times.

ASU in the Polls: Here's a look at ASU's path in both major polls in 1997:

    Date        AP  ESPN/USA Today
    Preseason   --      --
    Aug. 31     --      --
    Sept. 7     24      --
    Sept. 14    14      17
    Sept. 21    25      23
    Sept. 28    25      22
    Oct. 5      --      --
    Oct. 12     --      --
    Oct. 19     23      22
    Oct. 26     20      21
    Nov. 2      15      16
    Nov. 9      15      15
    Nov. 16     12      12
    Nov. 23     12      12
    Nov. 30     17      19
    Dec. 7      16      18

Sizing up the Schedule: ASU's 1997 schedule was ranked the 10th-toughest in the nation in an NCAA preseason survey. In addition to the always tough Pac-10 slate, the Sun Devils played nonconference foes Miami, BYU and New Mexico State. Five of the Sun Devil opponents went to bowls a year ago: Miami (Carquest), BYU (Cotton), Washington (Holiday), Stanford (Sun) and California (Aloha). The Sun Devils face all but BYU on the road. ASU's 11 opponents combined for a 70-60 mark last season while only two won less than five games. Four of ASU's first seven games were on the road this season which is in stark contrast to a year ago when the Sun Devils' first five games were in Tempe. On the flip side, ASU finishes up with three of its final four games at home.

Pac-10 Poll: Arizona State was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 in a preseason poll of West Coast media members that regularly cover the league. Washington received 28 of 31 first-place votes to be tabbed as the favorite for 1997. The complete poll:

    1. Washington (28)  306     6. Arizona          151
    2. Stanford (3)     263     7. Washington St.   142
    3. USC              228     8. Oregon           114
    4. UCLA             217     9. California        74
    5. Arizona St.      175    10. Oregon St.        35

Preseason Pundits: As ASU headed into the 1997 season, the preseason college football annuals rank the Sun Devils anywhere from 12th to 35th in the nation while selecting ASU to finish somewhere between third and sixth in defense of its Pac-10 title. Below is a list of various preseason magazine and internet predictions for ASU:

                   ASU in Nation    ASU in Pac-10   
    Lindy's             20th            3rd 
    Preview Sports      18th            6th
    Athlon              35th            5th
    The Sporting News   33rd            5th
    Street & Smith's    17th            3rd 
    Blitz               26th    
    College Sports News 12th    
    Fans Only           25th

Mirror Image: A comparison of Bruce Snyder's five seasons at Cal and his first five seasons at ASU reveals striking similarities. Snyder's record during his five years (1987-91) at California was 29-24-4 (.544) while his record after five years at ASU stood at 32-24 (.571) and is currently 40-27.

    At California           At Arizona State
    Year     Record  Bowl   Year    Record  Bowl
    1987      3-6-2         1992      6-5
    1988      5-5-1         1993      6-5
    1989      4-7-0         1994      3-8
    1990      7-4-1  Copper 1995      6-5
    1991     10-2-0  Citrus 1996     11-1   Rose
                            1997      8-3   Sun
    Totals  29-24-4         Totals  40-27

1996 in Review: ASU finished last season ranked fourth in both major polls after going 11-1 and 8-0 in the Pac-10, winning its second Pac-10 title. The Sun Devils completed an undefeated regular season, the fourth in ASU history, before falling to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Sun Devil QB Jake Plummer, OT Juan Roque, TB Terry Battle and DE Derrick Rodgers each received All-America recognition as Roque was a consensus pick and Plummer finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Head coach Bruce Snyder was the consensus choice for National Coach of the Year, winning 14 of a possible 16 awards, and earned his second Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor.

#11 Hangs Forever: Danny White's joined his father, Wilford "Whizzer" White, and Bobby Mulgado as the only Sun Devils to have their jersey retired during halftime of the BYU game. Danny played at ASU from 1971-73 and was the Sun Devils starting QB each year, compiling a three-year record of 31-4 leading his team to three straight WAC titles and three Fiesta Bowl wins. A charter member of ASU's Hall of Fame, White played 13 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and was a member of their Super Bowl XII Championship team. White is currently head coach and general manager of the Arizona Rattlers where he has won two Arena Bowl titles, including the 1997 crown.

Hall of Fame Year: Former Sun Devils Danny White and Mike Haynes each are receiving Hall of Fame recognition in 1997. White, ASU's starting QB from 1971-73, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame earlier in December, becoming the first Sun Devil player to ever receive that honor. Haynes, a Sun Devil from 1972-75, became the third (John Henry Johnson, Charley Taylor) ASU player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during a July ceremony.

ASU Libraries: ASU's Athletic Department forwarded $50,000 to the ASU Library System in a pregame presentation prior to the USC game. Members of the Student Athlete Advisory Board and ASU head coaches made the presentation together to the ASU Library system which has distinguished itself as one of the top 35 academic research libraries in the United States or Canada.

Hall of Fame/Homecoming: ASU inducted five new members into the Sun Devil Hall of Fame prior to its Oregon contest, which was also Homecoming at ASU. Daniell Ammaccapane (golf), Vernon Maxwell (football, Kim Neal (gymnastics), Rick Walker (track and field) and Lisa Zeis (gymnastics) comprise the Class of 1997. With its win against the Ducks, ASU is 52-13-3 all-time in Homecoming games, winning 12 of its last 13.

Draft Success: Arizona State had eight football players selected in the 1997 NFL Draft, tied for the most in the nation with Miami and Nebraska (see chart below). In addition, ASU had six other players sign free agent contracts, giving it 14 players in NFL camps in 1997 from its 1996 squad. To break it down, of ASU's 22 starters on New Year's Day in the Rose Bowl, 11 (6 defensive, 5 offensive) are now in the NFL with the Sun Devils first string punter and two reserves joining them in the professional ranks.

        Team       Players Drafted
    1.  ASU             8
        Miami
        Nebraska
    4.  Florida State   7
        Ohio State
    6.  Colorado        6
        Texas
        Virginia

Dodging Draft Blues: Of the eight college programs that lost six or more players to the NFL draft only ASU, Nebraska, Ohio State and Florida State are ranked in the Top 25.

In the NFL: Arizona State has 24 former players currently on NFL rosters including eight players from last year's squad. Terry Battle (Lions), Steve Bush (Bengals), Jake Plummer (Cardinals), Keith Poole (Saints), Derrick Rodgers (Dolphins), Juan Roque (Lions), Derek Smith (Redskins) and Scott Von der Ahe (Colts) all played for Snyder a year ago and are now in the NFL ranks.

Bowl Lineup: The Pac-10 placed six teams in bowl games in 1997, tying the highest mark in conference history. Six Pac-10 teams also made postseason appearances in 1986 and 1992.

    Bowl        Site        Date     TV M   atchup
    Vegas       Las Vegas   Dec. 20  espn2  Oregon vs. Air Force
    Aloha       Honolulu    Dec. 25  ABC    Washington vs. Michigan St.
    Insight.com Tucson      Dec. 27  ESPN   Arizona vs. New Mexico
    Sun         El Paso     Dec. 31  CBS    ASU vs. Iowa
    Cotton      Dallas      Jan. 1   CBS    UCLA vs. Texas A&M
    Rose        Pasadena    Jan. 1   ABC    Washington St. vs. Michigan

Hula Bowl: ASU head coach Bruce Snyder will be one of the two head coaches at this year's Hula Bowl, featuring collegiate football's best seniors. Sun Devils Damien Richardson, Jason Simmons and Robert Nycz are also slated to play in the contest, January 18, 1998.

Missing the Bruins: The Pac-10 schedule includes eight conference games and the conference rotates which team a school misses every two years. ASU will miss UCLA in 1997 and 1998.

Paul Reynolds
Linebacker Paul Reynolds is one of 21 ASU seniors playing their last game in El Paso. (File Photo)

Three Dot Data: RB Michael Martin's 83-yard run against Oregon was the longest of his career and his 158-yard rushing day was the second-biggest of his career ... WR Creig Spann's 67-yard touchdown catch at California was his first career TD grab and the longest reception of his career ... it was also Ryan Kealy's longest toss, TD or otherwise ... J.R. Redmond's 27 rushing attempts at California was a career high ... ASU finished the season 2-1 against teams picked ahead of them in the annual Pac-10 preseason poll (beat Stanford, USC; lost to Washington; don't play UCLA) ... P Marcus Williams' 53.6 yard per punt average against Washington State was a school record for a seven-punt performance ... In going 2 of 12 on third down conversions, Stanford didn't convert on 10 straight third downs ... TB Marlon Farlow set a career high with 129 yards on 13 carries against Stanford ... FB Jeff Paulk's two rushing TDs against Stanford was a career high and all three of his career rushing TDs have come at the Cardinal ... QB Ryan Kealy's career highs came in his last six games: 36 attempts (Stanford & WSU), 23 completions (WSU), 281 yards (USC) and 4 touchdowns (WSU) ... WR Lenzie Jackson set career highs with nine catches against Washington State and 132 yards receiving against USC ... the Sun Devils 28-point win was their largest margin of victory against USC ... nine players have interceptions for ASU this year ... ASU's offensive performance against Washington was one of its worst in recent memory as the 231 total yards was the fewest since the 1992 Arizona game (Nov. 21, 191 yards), the 15 first downs was the fewest since Oct. 28, 1995, at Oregon (14) and the 51 net rushing yards was the fewest since Oct. 22, 1994, vs. Washington State ... FS Mitchell Freedman's 15 tackles at Washington was a career high ... LB Pat Tillman's two interceptions against Oregon State was a career high and the first time since 1991 that ASU has had a player with two picks. Adam Brass and Darren Woodson both had two INTs a piece against Cal in '91 ... TE Kendrick Bates' 38-yard catch vs. Oregon State was a career high ... ASU's 10 points against BYU was its fewest since a 31-0 loss to USC on Sept. 30, 1995 and its fewest at home since a 47-10 loss to Miami on Sept. 10, 1994 ... the 13 points ASU allowed to BYU in the loss was the fewest points allowed by ASU in a loss since a 13-6 defeat against USC in 1990 ... TE Kendrick Bates' team-high five catches against BYU was a career best ... when Michael Martin and J.R. Redmond each ran for over 100 yards against Miami, it was the first time since 1979 that the Hurricanes had allowed two rushers to do that in the same game ... the 23-12 win at Miami was the Hurricanes first loss in a home-opener since 1985 (Florida) ... the Hurricanes offense was held without a touchdown, the first time that has happened in the Orange Bowl since 1984 (Florida State) ... TB Marlon Farlow established a career high with a 63-yard run against Stanford ... TB J.R. Redmond's 176 yards rushing against New Mexico State was a career high ... Michael Martin's 26 carries against Miami is a career high ... Redmond's five catches against Miami was a career high ... WR Kenny Mitchell's 40-yard catch that led to ASU's game-clinching score at Miami was a career high ... PK Robert Nycz's three field goals at Miami tied a career high.

Bits & Bites: LB Pat Tillman enjoys rock climbing and snow/water skiing ... OG Kyle Murphy plans on a career in sports journalism ... Lou Groza Award candidate Robert Nycz's father was a linebacker at Dartmouth .... DL Vince Amey hit a grand slam in high school ... former NBA star Sidney Moncreif is a relative of DT Albrey Battle ... the 6-3, 289-pound Battle can slam dunk a basketball ... WR Ricky Boyer's uncle, Tim Boyer, played football at San Diego State and in the WFL ... TB J.R. Redmond ran a 21.9 200-meter dash without practicing ... SS Damien Richardson was nominated and appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy before choosing ASU ... with a major in bioengineering, Richardson's summer job required him to determine why accidents with appliances happened ... OT Grey Ruegamer's uncle, Bob Frisbee, played football at the University of Minnesota and for the Minnesota Vikings ... OL Mike Barnes aspires to be an athletic trainer ... Barnes' father played football and ran track at Chico State ... S Phillip Brown's uncle, Donald Smith, played for the Green Bay Packers ... QB Steve Campbell's father was a four-time football letterman at Northern Arizona University ... CB J'Juan Cherry has a family lineage that includes his brother, Jerod, who was a defensive back at California; a cousin, Khalid Shabazz, who currently plays in the backfield at Cal; a cousin, Kwame Ellis, who is a defensive back at Stanford; and an uncle, Deron Cherry, played 11 seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs ... CB Kareem Clark's cousin is former Houston Oiler Earl Campbell ... DL Leroy Hawkins is contemplating a career in the FBI ... ... Center Randy Leaphart's brother, Robert, lettered at Washington and played in the 1982 Rose Bowl ... WR Tariq McDonald's father, a semifinalist at the 1980 and 1984 Olympic trials in the 400m and 200m, was a member of the Phoenix Junior College 4x100 and 4x400 national championship team ... DL Hamilton Mee has a twin brother, Harrison, and twin sisters, Kim and Kelly ... RE Terelle Smith has eight brothers/sisters and has a black belt in karate ... FB Kevin Tommasini is one of seven kids ... Tommasini's father played football at Oregon ... LB Stephen Trejo is one of nine kids.

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