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Stansbury Hoping to Fulfill Doberman Dreams

Everybody has a little dog in them. Gharin Stansbury could develop into the baddest dog on the block.

TEMPE -- It's the dog days of spring practice, which might suit Arizona State defensive lineman Gharin Stansbury the best out of anybody considering the analogy defensive line coach Robert Rodriguez used to describe him.

"I gotta keep it PG, but what it is when you see Gharin at first when he was first here? It was like a baby doberman. If you ever see a baby doberman, it's all toothpick legs, big ole paws right? And they stand there, kind of like a baby deer, their legs are all wobbly," Rodriguez told reporters. 

"And then all of a sudden, you're just used to that, then one day you look up and that doberman's kind of standing like this (taller). He's basically just looking at you and you kinda go, 'Do I worry about this guy? This guy's looking like a dude,' and then after a year or so he's the kind of dog that people run to the other side of the street when you're walking him. They see him walking down, they just walk across. 

"So he's about at that stage right now where he's standing straight up, and you go wait a minute, what do we have here? You know what I mean? Hopefully, someday he's gonna be that dog walking down the street people are like, man I'm going to get out of the way. When you first saw him on those sleds, it was, 'God is this guy ever going to be able to get into the stance right?' You guys know what I'm talking about. The kid has progressed so quickly. And now when you look at him (you say to yourself), 'Hey, wait a minute, we might have something on our hands.' He's still got steps to take. But trust me, he's definitely that baby doberman."

Robert Rodriguez

After a quick laugh, Stansbury responded with, "He (Rodriguez) said sometimes you just got to bring it out. He said that's what we've been working on. I'm always competing, always battling. It's like bringing out my full potential."

A quick google search of a doberman reveals characteristics such as intelligence, energetic, fearless and obedient. The 6-foot-5 sophomore hopes to add strength to not only his own body, but perhaps the doberman breed as well.

"Coach got me on this app called My Fitness Pal, eating the right things, making sure I get the right calories in," Stansbury said. "It's hard work with weightlifting and this was my first year really in the weight room program too, so that's why it helped me gain so much weight.

"(I've gotten) way stronger. So bench was at like 315 (pounds), plus three sets. My power cleans went way up and squats. It's progression and not just with me, but with everybody. I'm at 242 (pounds) right now. When I came in, I was at 220. So I'm not done yet. I feel way better, way more explosive. And this is gonna help in my game too. With the run stopping playing six technique and everything."

Stansbury appeared in eight games last season as a freshman, accruing only two total tackles and one sack on a depth chart littered with talent.

Now, heading into his second season at Arizona State, Stansbury hopes that by understanding the system and what's asked of him, he'll be able to become that dog Rodriguez envisions him becoming. 

"I'm way more comfortable. I got way more confidence in my head (compared to) when I first came in. That's a big help," he said. 

"Learning how to pass-rush better, learning the techniques because coming from high school from when it's just raw talent to you being coached every day, it's a real difference. And then the playbook, learning the plays. When you don't know plays you move slower. So now I can move faster by learning the plays."

There are obvious expectations that come with Stansbury's growth as a player. Stansbury holds his own expectations for 2022, which involves putting his hand on the grass at Sun Devil Stadium more than last year.

He said, "I expect to get more playing time. I expect to just be a better teammate as well. Like with Robby (Harrison). He's coming in. We stay in the same dorm so I'm like let's go over the plays, do little things. And by helping somebody who doesn't know the plays, that helps me out because I get to go back over the stuff . . .  So it helps out a lot.

As the clock continues to move forward, Stansbury is ready to leave his "all bark, no bite" days in the past. 

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