The Arizona State University Sun Devil football team's two practice sessions on the new multipurpose field at Rumsey Park created quite a stir in our community.
Their presence drew a number of local fans eager for a first-hand look at a PAC-10 football team.
Almost everyone who watched the team at its two practice sessions, and others at Camp Tontozona, came away with different opinions on how the Sun Devils will fare this season.
But a common thread that runs through most viewpoints is the Sun Devils don't appear to have the makings of a bowl-bound team.
That's a tough statement for this ASU alum to write but it appears to be accurate.
Some who watched the practices thought quarterback Chad Christensen was too impatient in finding his receivers. He showed a tendency to tuck the ball and run when his primary receivers were covered.
Scrambling is great, but it can be hazardous to a quarterback's health.
The biggest concern voiced on the sidelines of the practice sessions was with the Sun Devils' unorthodox 4-2-5 defense. Fans, many of whom are very knowledge about football including myself, wonder how a defense that features five safeties can stop the University of Nebraska's power and option ground-oriented offense.
Payson High School defensive coordinator Mike Loutzenheiser, as great a Sun Devil fan as there is, also is silently questioning the "D."
I hope we're all wrong.
ASU plays the Huskers Aug. 24 on ESPN in the season-opener for both teams.
Redskin turns Sun Devil
Members of the Payson High School football team should take heart in the fact the Sun Devil roster sports a small-town Arizona player who only last season was battling the Longhorns.
Chaz White's assertion to Division 1 play lends hope to local players that it's not just the 4A and 5A players who make it to the big time.
White, of St. Johns, is currently battling sophomore Adrian Ayala for right tackle starting honors.
In many of the drills, White's athleticism coupled with his size (6 feet, 4 inches, 293 pounds) made him a formidable force.
White is not the only small-town player to earn a Division I scholarship.
Former Eloy Santa Cruz Dust Devil Levi Jones starred for ASU for four years before being drafted in the NFL's first round last spring.
Several years ago, Blue Ridge High School sent brothers Scooter and Jimmy Sprotte to the University of Arizona.
Blue Ridge's Adam Moro, son of coach Paul Moro, has apparently walked-on this season at Arizona.
Also at the U. of A. is former Show Low star, Matt Belshe.