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Trio of Arizona State players set to leave football program

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Arizona State football underwent some turnover on Friday, as it was reported that utility back Nick Ralston and linebackers Malik Lawal and Jay Jay Wilson will not return to the team next season.

Ralston played for the Sun Devils for four seasons, with most of his time spent behind Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage on the depth chart at running back.

Ralston tried to make the switch to linebacker before the 2018 season began, but eventually settled into a lead blocker role for Eno Benjamin as the season went on.

Ralston was a key component to ASU’s success running the football this past season, and he would’ve likely had the same role next season had he decided to stay. He is a graduate student, so he will be eligible to play right away in 2019 regardless of where he goes.

Lawal spent three seasons at ASU, and recorded 21 total tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2018.

Wilson had been at ASU since 2015, but only played in four games this season before redshirting to maintain one more year of eligibility. He had eleven total tackles and a forced fumble in 2018.

Both players were expected to be key contributors for the Sun Devils’ defense before the season, but they both saw their playing time diminish after breakouts from Merlin Robertson and Darien Butler.

Like Ralston, they will both be able to play right away in 2019.

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