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Bethley Adjusting Well to Life as Sun Devil

The newcomer in the secondary has had no problem finding his footing at ASU.

TEMPE -- Arizona State safety Khoury Bethley has been in Tempe for only a few weeks, but already believes he's adjusted well to both the Sun Devils and his new home.

"I feel like we are all pretty much together (in the defensive backs room) and we're always together (with the rest of the) dudes on the defense," he said. "Everybody's pretty much close here. I think it's a great brotherhood-comradery here in the locker room, in meetings and all that. There's really no cliques or anything. So yeah, everybody has taken me in and welcomed me with open arms.

Bethley arrived via the transfer portal after starting every game at Hawaii during his four-year stay with the team. Bethley garnered first-team All-Mountain West honors last season.

Perhaps his transition to ASU was made easier by head coach Todd Graham, who was previously leading the Sun Devils before Herm Edwards took over duties following the 2017 season. 

Bethley said, "I think Coach Graham did a phenomenal job coaching me. He's taught me a lot of techniques that carry over here. So I give him a lot of credit. He told me it's a great place. Tempe is a good place (with) great people. I love it out here. It's been a great time since I've been here. It's (gone by kind of) fast, I've been here for two weeks, but I love it."

For what it's worth, Bethley also said he was a huge fan of Lo-Lo's Chicken and Waffles and would be returning after a tremendous first visit following a recommendation from teammates.

Bethley is also a fan of flying to the football, accruing 291 tackles, 17 passes defended, seven interceptions, seven sacks and three forced fumbles during his time at Hawaii. 

Adjusting to a new climate and culture within a locker room can be difficult, something Bethley admits he struggled with initially upon arrival when asked if he felt he had to catch up to returning players.

"I felt like, yeah (I was) once I got here because I was kind of behind the eight ball with the team. Now I kind of feel like the transition is getting smooth, I'm picking up on the defense. I'm starting to play faster and make plays on the ball," said Bethley. 

It certainly helps that Arizona State has employed new position coach Aaron Fletcher, giving all the players in the secondary a fresh opportunity to make a new impression.

"Definitely with a new position coach (it's easier to compete). Everybody's pretty much got a new resume' as, coach Herm says. Every day we go out there and write our resume'. We just go out there, have fun and play football," said Bethley, who is looking to fill one of two vacant starting safety spots. 

"I started getting first-team reps, I want to say last Saturday was the first time. But we all (have) been rotating. Coach Fletcher is doing a great job of mixing everybody: ones, twos and threes, so that way we all get comfortable with playing with each other because it's a new group. Iron sharpers iron."

Bethley then dived into Arizona State's shared team goals and personal goals.

"This defense here is huge. We play great defense here and so obviously you want to be first in the Pac-12 (defensively); that's huge right there. Obviously, we want to win the Pac-12 too, that's the No. 1 goal and get into the Rose Bowl," he said. "But personal goals, I'm coming for All-American and that's my biggest goal. First-team All-American and then first-team All-Pac-12 as well."

The Sun Devils will likely rely on their defense to sturdy the team's ship, thanks to an offense that will be featuring new faces across the board, most notably at quarterback. 

For Bethley and the rest of Arizona State's defense, it's about playing as one collective unit. 

"No. 1, swarm to the ball," answered Bethley, when asked how ASU could reach the goals he set for them.  

"I think when you have everybody playing, 11 (players) together and doing their one of 11 (responsibilities on defense), good things always happen. I think that's the first step. And once you get that, I think it starts to trickle down to that and doing the little things. The little things always play a big role."

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