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ASU Spring Practice Notebook: Third Week Commences

The Sun Devils are over halfway done with spring football.

TEMPE -- Arizona State's eighth spring practice concluded on Monday, as the third of four weeks the Sun Devils will be on the Kajikawa practice fields is now underway. 

Players now begin to truly separate themselves after two weeks of installation and adjusting to practice periods. Mistakes are now magnified, especially at positions with competitive battles going on. 

If you're wearing a gold Sun Devils helmet with cleats, the time is now to make plays. 

Arizona State was again not in pads Monday, but that didn't stop defensive line coach Rob Rodriguez from turning the intensity up. 

Defensive Notes

"No pads, no excuses. Lets go hit somebody," said Rodriguez to his defensive linemen before the start of practice. Rodriguez mentioned focus points for initial moves, leverage and good head movement and even sprinkled some pop culture references into his instruction. 

"Get your hands up like Will Smith! he said." 

The return of defensive lineman Jermayne Lole is highly anticipated, and for good reason. When healthy, Lole has proven to be a game-changer. 

Lole, who is still working his way back from triceps surgery, was spotted doing individual work on the sleds. 

Linebacker Eric Gentry was seen without a club on his left hand, a good sign following multiple practices with the protection on. 

Offensive Notes

Right guard Chris Martinez (transfer from San Diego State) has taken a majority of snaps with the starting unit, yet Spencer Lovell has worked his way into splitting time with Martinez during first-team activities. 

Running backs Xazavian Valladay and Daniyel Ngata looked the strongest during receiving drills. Both runners looked fluid coming in and out of breaks before catching and turning with the football. 

Tight end Messiah Swinson again had a strong practice, which is something you could probably say most days he's walked on the field for ASU. There's genuine excitement around him, and for good reason. He's made the most out of his opportunities. 

It was a shorter practice than usual for media. The Sun Devils will be back at practice on Wednesday. 

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