Devils Finish Foray On Rim

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For the Sun Devils, it's goodbye pine trees and hello asphalt.

Following 10 days of training under the majestic ponderosas of scenic Camp Tontozona, the Arizona State University football team is returning to the school's downtown Tempe campus.

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Freshman quarterback Derek Shaw (7) of Oceanside, Calif. was among the Arizona State University football players to attend Camp Tontozona. Blocking for Shaw in a scrimmage at Rumsey Park are Shawn Lauvao (67) and Bradis McGriff (77).

Preseason training at Tontozona wrapped up this morning with the annual fan's scrimmage that drew throngs of Valley-area football faithful.

During the team's stay in the Rim Country, monsoon rains sometimes drenched the Tontozona grass field forcing the Sun Devils to travel to Rumsey Park for practice sessions. Rumsey has an all-weather FieldTurf playing surface.

During the first five days at the camp, the Sun Devils have had to practice four times at Rumsey.

The Devils also had a water workout at Taylor Pool and took in a movie at the Sawmill Crossing Theater.

Those who turned out to watch a practice at Tontozona or Rumsey saw a team that is ranked 18th in the nation by USA Today, but as high as No. 6 by CBS SportsLine.com

The team returns nine offensive starters off last year's Sun Bowl championship team including senior offensive lineman Grayling Love, sophomore H-back Zach Miller, of Tempe Desert Vista High School, and sophomore receiver/tailback Rudy Burgess.

Miller, who is recovering from offseason surgery, said at the onset he was looking forward to returning to the practice field at Tontozona. "I didn't enjoy missing spring ball. Everyone else was out their practicing and getting the chance to improve and I was just on the sidelines watching them."

Although quarterback Sam Keller is not one of the nine returning offensive starters, he did lead the Devils to the Sun Bowl win after taking over for the injured Andrew Walter, now with the Oakland Raiders.

"I know that I didn't play all those games that Andrew did (last season), but I will be there and I will be ready for all those games," he said. "I feel like a returning starter."

Among those who has loads of confidence in Keller is senior linebacker Jamar Williams.

"After what he did in the Sun Bowl and seeing what he did in practice all of last year, I'm very confident in his abilities," he said. "I feel like he is the right man for the job."

In Tempe, the Sun Devils will continue to practice in preparation of their season opener Sept. 1 in ASU stadium against Tempe.

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