Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman LaDarius Henderson is ready to play football.
"Summer's going great," said Henderson to media members on a Zoom call Wednesday.
Preseason camp for ASU is set to be held in August, but in the time before players can actually be coached by the staff, they're restricted to the weight room and player-only activities.
Henderson said, "I feel like every summer with (strength) coach Joe (Connolly) is good. I like to stay in Tempe, especially when it gets closer to the season. I feel like everything I really need is here.
"I feel like I'm in great shape. My body composition is probably the best it's been."
During Henderson's call with media, his energy flashed through the screen. Henderson has stepped up as a leader at Arizona State, and his guidance as a senior this upcoming year will be crucial for a Sun Devils team that has seen significant losses through recruiting, the transfer portal and guys hitting the next level.
Henderson says he isn't worried, as part of the process is losing talented guys and seeing who will step up in their place.
"The thing about every team that is consistent no matter what school you go to is you're gonna lose who you lose. (My) freshman year we lose Brandon Aiyuk. We lose Eno Benjamin. We lose Cohl Cabral. After that we have (more) guys we lose," said Henderson.
"After this past season we had Rachaad White, Dohnovan West, Kellen Diesch, every year you lose these players. The thing that's remained on the incline since I got here is the mesh of the team. How we come together. How we love each other. How we just fit together. Our culture here has been on the incline no matter what outside noise we've ever had. The culture and mindset we've had, since I've been here, I've seen on the incline."
That outside noise has been strong surrounding Arizona State, from starters such as Eric Gentry, Jayden Daniels, Ricky Pearsall and Jermayne Lole departing to the ongoing NCAA investigation.
"The thing is if you're a really big media guy, really into following all that stuff, the consistent word that you see or hear is lost. You hardly ever hear gained. So it's almost as if we've just lost a bunch of players and haven't gotten any. And if that's the case, we don't have enough people to play a game at all," said Henderson.
"I've focused a lot on the people that want to be here, the people that are here now and the people we've gained. To be quite honest, every loss isn't a bad loss. I'm not saying every gain is a great gain, but we sure do have some good ones when I look around this locker room.
"That makes me optimistic for this team. It makes my teammates optimistic for this team. We're most optimistic, we believe in each other and I feel like that's a dangerous team: a team that believes in themselves."
A few days ago, one anonymous Pac-12 coach ripped the Sun Devils in Athlon Sports' 2022 preview. When asked about how Arizona State would keep up within the conference, Henderson made his (and ASU's) intentions clear:
"I feel like they should be worried about us, but they're not, lets be honest. They're not, according to the media. So we're just going to use that to our advantage and we're just going to do what we do and play our game."