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Sun Devils Elated with Forman in Coaching Role

Shannon Forman, who was once a player, has successfully transitioned into a coaching role at ASU.

TEMPE -- The Arizona State Sun Devils are already off to a great start in spring practice, with their defensive line hailing as one of the strongest units across ASU's team.

Jermayne Lole headlines a talented and experienced front four that is also considerably deep at each position. Returning forces such as Joe and Travez Moore, Omarr Norman-Lott and B.J. Green are among the names looking to wreak havoc in the Pac-12 next season. 

One returning name that's caught the eye during Arizona State's spring practice is Shannon Forman, who is now helping coach the defensive line as a graduate assistant.  

"Shannon is now one on the defensive line coaches too so it's good to still have him around. He helped me a lot last year, so it's a big help," defensive lineman Gharin Stansbury said. 

Forman played in 46 games for the Sun Devils during his five-year stay, which includes a career total of 62 tackles, three tackles for loss and two interceptions. 

Current defensive line coach Robert Rodriguez says Forman's transition from wearing a helmet to helping lead drills has been seamless. 

"I think anybody who's a Sun Devil should be fired up that Shannon is also a Sun Devil. That's the kind of people you want associated with your brand," Rodriguez told reporters. 

"But Shannon, we thought the Arizona game was his last game, he had surgery he needed to have on his ankle and his shoulder. And Shannon came back to the bowl game just to help us out. He saw that we were short inside, he came back. One of the things we talked about, (Forman said), 'Listen coach if something's available, I'd like to look into being a graduate assistant.' He looked into it and so because he did that, credit to (defensive coordinator) Donnie (Henderson) who was like, 'Hey, this kid, he did us a favor by coming back and playing for us. He played well in that bowl game. He played nose tackle. This is a guy who's played end, three technique and nose tackle. He's played every position, so he provides a lot of value to the room.'"

It takes a savvy player to not only make the transition from player to coach, but also to do it at a high level with former peers he shared a locker room with just months ago. 

Rodriguez says Forman's fit in the coaching tree is like a glove. 

"It was his idea but I'm glad it was. (It is a) slam dunk and the kid is intelligent, smart. What I love about him is he has a passion for this game and passion for his teammates, but he's not out there trying to be a buddy to the guys, he's really working with them and being a good coach," said Rodriguez. 

"It's a lot of fun for me to have somebody who already knows the scheme and knows the technique and knows how to teach it to others. He's so dedicated to being good at what he does. Already I've seen him really show me a lot of signs that whatever level he wants to get into, because coaches are gluttons for punishment. The higher the level, the more the stress, and so I don't know what level he wants to be at, but wherever he wants to go I know he's gonna be a heck of a coach. 

"If I was a dad, I would want him coaching my kid at any level."

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