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Herm Edwards speaks on ASU LB Koron Crump as season opener looms

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE, Ariz. – Before getting into the nuts and bolts of where his team is at and how he thinks they’ll respond in their season opener, Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards first wanted to offer his thoughts on the passing of U.S. Sen. John McCain on Saturday.

“I heard John McCain died, I never met him personally, but from afar respected the man for what he stood for and who he was,” Edwards said after the Sun Devils practice. “I actually told my wife last night, I said ‘you know if I could I’d like to go see this man.’ Just to speak to him.

“He is truly an American hero, there’s no doubt about it.”

For Edwards, he gained appreciation for the senator during the 2008 presidential race against former President Barack Obama.

“I watched him when he was trying to run for president and some of the things through television and watching him speak and some things were said about the guy that eventually won the presidency and the way he handled it was magnificent.

“He brings people together and that’s a sad loss for our country to lose a man of his stature and his grace and his intellect,” Edwards added. “My thoughts and prayers go out to all his loved ones because we are truly, truly going to miss that man because he did a lot for our country.”

Koron Crump’s play count

Edwards provided an update on ASU linebacker Koron Crump, who is working to get back in the swing of things.

“He’s coming along, he’s getting his practice reps in and that’s good. You know he’s been kind of laid up all year,” Edwards said. “We’ve been trying to get him to get better and obviously he’s starting to practice a little bit.”

As for playing time next week, Edwards isn’t ready to jump the gun on the senior.

“He’s not ready to play a game for 40 plays, hopefully this week he can get himself in shape so we can use him because he’s got some talent. He’s a little rusty, he’s been on the shelf for quite some time.”

If and when Crump can get back to 100 percent, it will be a big boost ASU’s defense, especially with the season-ending injury to safety Tyler Whiley.

As a junior in 2016, Crump led the Sun Devils with nine sacks. He also recorded an interception and three fumble recoveries in 11 games.

The 2017 season looked even more promising before an ACL tear cut his season short.

The senior entered Week 2 with the four sacks, the second-most in the nation. He paired that with 13 tackles and four tackles for loss before going down with the injury against Texas Tech on Sept. 16.


— Edwards on the team’s walkthrough on Friday: “I felt like it was important for all of us. … You need to know where to line up. Some of these guys have never been in that stadium.

“They walked out there and the lights were on, the music was playing. We created an atmosphere like it was almost a game and what we’re going to do in a game.”

— Edwards on splitting carries in the backfield: “Reps for offense always depends on how many first downs you make. You’ve got to have reps. It’s called plays. We know our featured guy, but from there we have some candidates that can help us.

“I don’t want to put a number on it because I don’t know quite honestly, I don’t think anybody knows until the game starts to play out and then we’ll figure it out.”

— Defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales will man the defense from the sideline, while offensive coordinator Rob Likens will be up in the box, according to Edwards.

— Edwards on the team with one week before the season opener: “I think our offense will probably be ahead of our defense, they’ve been together. For the time-being defensively, I still think we’ve got some moving parts, you’ll see a lot of young players play on defense, which it’s the way it is.

“With that being said I want to see our return game and how that looks. That’s going to be fun to watch.”

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