ASU defensive back Evan Fields named this week’s ‘Mandrake’
Every week, Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards picks a “Mandrake.”
Essentially this is ASU’s player of the game. The recipient gets to wear a special black jersey with the Jimi Hendrix-inspired name on his back and a gold “M” logo on the front.
This week, Edwards awarded defensive back Evan Fields for his efforts in ASU’s underdog victory at Michigan State on Saturday.
Fields led the team with 13 tackles, his college high and the most by a Sun Devil since Jalen Harvey racked up 14 on Oct. 6, 2018.
His most important tackle was early in the third quarter. MSU had the ball on fourth down-and-one, 34 yards away from the goal line.
The score was 3-0 Devils, but the Spartans were driving and picking up momentum. On fourth-down, the Spartans ran the ball up the middle with powerful halfback Connor Hayward. Fields, playing in ASU’s “Tillman” spot, clogged the hole and caused the turnover on downs.
Arizona State did not do much on its next drive, but it was able to flip fields due to a booming 40-yard punt by Michael Turk that was downed at the three-yard line. Michigan State did not get that close to the end zone until the fourth quarter.
“Mandrake” is named after a Hendrix album cover, according to Edwards. ASU’s head coach is a huge Hendrix fan, and has always referred to a player who can do many things as a “Mandrake.” Now he has brought a new tradition to Tempe.
Last week, the title went to defensive lineman D.J. Davidson after he picked up 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss against Sacramento State. After Week one, linebacker Khaylan Kearse-Thomas wore the black jersey after gaining 1.5 sacks as well.
The Sun Devil defense has produced all three “Mandrakes” thus far, but the offense will have a good chance to grab one this week when it faces a struggling Colorado defense.