ASU RB Daniyel Ngata spent offseason getting bigger, faster for 2022

Aug 30, 2022, 7:48 AM

Running back Daniyel Ngata #4 of the Arizona State Sun Devils scores on a 13-yard rushing touchdown...

Running back Daniyel Ngata #4 of the Arizona State Sun Devils scores on a 13-yard rushing touchdown against the UNLV Rebels during the first half of the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona State running back Daniyel Ngata has a new look entering Year 3 with the program.

The redshirt sophomore and former four-star recruit is nine pounds heavier, as he told reporters Sunday he wanted to get bigger and faster for the 2022 campaign.

“I wanted to try and gain more muscle, try to gain more weight,” Ngata said Sunday. “It being my sophomore year, my redshirt sophomore year, just trying to see where I can play with my body. I’m trying to probably stay at like 200, 205 (pounds).”

When it comes to getting faster, Ngata dialed in on his running form, which he felt was “messed up.”

He gets running critiques from his cousin and former Sun Devils receiver Brandon Aiyuk to improve it.

The Reno native said at his size, he wants to be more explosive with his cuts.

Ngata is set for a bigger role this season with the departure of 2021 standout Rachaad White.

He and Wyoming transfer Xazavian Valladay make up ASU’s primary running back tandem heading into the season.

Ngata carried the ball 56 times for an average of 5.5 yards per rush last year, but he was not satisfied with how the season ended. White sat out the Las Vegas Bowl, and Ngata got 11 carries for 23 yards.

That showing in ASU’s 20-13 loss to Wisconsin has been a prime motivator for the running back this offseason.

“That was my biggest-staged game so far in my life,” Ngata said. “I came to that game, thought I was prepared and surely wasn’t. I just look at that game, you have got to learn from it. It’s in the past so like I can’t do much about it, but I can’t do nothing about it.

“I just literally look at that game to see the main things I could do better, look at myself and how I’ve improved personally.”

The Sun Devils begin their season at home Thursday against Northern Arizona.

Ngata said he’s excited to finally show off everything he’s strived for this offseason and the chemistry he’s built with Valladay and starting quarterback Emory Jones.

Kickoff at Sun Devil Stadium is at 7 p.m. and will air on ESPN 620 AM and 98.7 FM HD-2.

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