ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Herm Edwards: Preparation time needed for season is likely 6 weeks

May 14, 2020, 12:12 PM
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

UCLA head football coach Chip Kelly noted the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday while on a conference call with reporters and other Pac-12 football coaches.

“No one has gone through this, unless you were around for the pandemic of 1918,” said Kelly, who was joined by ASU’s Herm Edwards and Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith. “Herm, you weren’t around for the pandemic in 1918, were you?”

“No, no, no, I wasn’t around for that one,” Edwards responded. “Sorry.”

Edwards, a football lifer who was born decades after the Spanish Flu pandemic in the early 20th century, is dealing with something he never has before. In some ways, though, there’s a benefit to the coronavirus pandemic shutting things down: He’s getting more time to meet with players.

“I think the unique thing about all of this is that players, they’re dialed in right now because they know that, as Coach Kelly said, this is going to come to an end,” Edwards said. “And we don’t know what the date is, but you better be ready.

“Mentally, they’re learning ball. It’s just the physical part now that when this thing comes back, we’ve got to get them ready that way. The mental part, I think we’ve gotten more time with them now in the classroom than probably we would have. You think about May, we’d be out recruiting and doing all of that stuff.”

Edwards said former ASU football players who went on to play in the NFL have joined in on meetings with current Sun Devils, walking through plays and the thought process that goes into some on-field decisions. Kelly said that his Bruins aren’t even using all of the eight hours per week that the NCAA gives teams to meet during this time.

As you might imagine, players have more time on their hands than normal.

“I challenge guys with that,” Edwards said. “I said, ‘You know what, this is a time that you need to look, reflect on you. What does your schedule look like every day? And does that schedule allow you to become a better version of yourself? You have time to do that now.'”

Smith said his team even had a Madden tournament.

Meanwhile, fans and players alike are probably wondering when college sports will get back on the field. ASU had its spring football season abruptly halted because of the pandemic, and now the season itself is being called into question. And how much time would players need to get back into shape if a return were imminent?

“I think the least amount of time is probably six weeks,” Edwards said. “That’s what we kind of talked about. Six weeks is probably right there. You’d be stretching it a little bit … These players have to be in condition to play football. And as much as we think they’re working out on their own, they’re not in football shape. The one thing you don’t want to do is put players in a position where they’re going to be hurt.”

Smith echoed that, saying six weeks is probably a minimum but doable.

“I think it could be done earlier if our strength and conditioning coaches could get their hands on them earlier,” Kelly said. “So if your strength and conditioning coaches had them for a couple of weeks before we got them, then I think you could do it in four weeks. That’s what they do at the other divisions.”

Still, getting the college football season underway will be particularly complicated, because academics and conferences are involved. At the city and state level, municipalities have differing laws and orders about what their citizens can and can’t do.

At the conference level, governing bodies could have unequal rules that muddy the waters of nonconference scheduling.

And at the NCAA level, president Mark Emmert said recently said in an interview posted to the NCAA’s Twitter account that college sports won’t return if schools aren’t back in session.

“If you don’t have students on campus, you don’t have student-athletes on campus,” Emmert said. “That doesn’t mean it has to be up and running in the full normal model, but you’ve got to treat the health and well-being of the athletes at least as much as the regular students.”

Penguin Air

Arizona State Football

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12 exploring all expansion options with USC, UCLA heading to Big Ten

The Pac-12 is looking into expansion following the decisions from USC and UCLA on Thursday to head to the Big Ten as early as 2024.
4 days ago
Basketballs are rolled off the court during the NCAAB game at McKale Center on January 03, 2022 in ...
Arizona Sports

Arizona ‘extremely disappointed’ in USC, UCLA leaving Pac-12 for Big Ten

The Arizona Wildcats broke their silence Friday regarding USC's and UCLA's plans to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten as early as 2024.
4 days ago
UCLA plays Oregon during a Pac-12 NCAA college football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., ...
Arizona Sports

UCLA, USC to leave Pac-12 for Big Ten in 2024

UCLA and USC will be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, beginning in the 2024-25 season, the two schools confirmed on Thursday evening.
5 days ago
Defensive back Jordan Clark #1 of the Arizona State Sun Devils celebrates with the Territorial Cup ...
Nikash Nath

Kyle Soelle, Jordan Clark ready to lead new faces for ASU football

ASU junior CB Jordan Clark and senior captain LB Kyle Soelle are expected to lead a Sun Devils defensive that'll have many new faces in 2022.
11 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman LaDarius Henderson (77) lines up during the college foot...
Nikash Nath

Arizona State OL LaDarius Henderson talks new culture amid low expectations

OL LaDarius Henderson has been with ASU since 2019 and is no stranger to experiencing personnel and cultural changes within the program.
20 days ago
Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts after the loss to the Utah Utes at R...
Kellan Olson

SunDevilSource’s Karpman: Scathing opinion on ASU football unsurprising

A scathing take about ASU football from an anonymous opposing coach became the topic of conversation around the state of the program.
20 days ago
Herm Edwards: Preparation time needed for season is likely 6 weeks