TEMPE, Ariz. — Everything about the first day of Arizona State spring football practice pleased Todd Graham, from the tempo of the offense and number of explosive plays to the communication he saw defensively.
Heck, even the changes made on special teams excited the fourth-year head coach.
The one negative however was the absence of junior-college transfer Davon Durant.
While the Sun Devils moved from one drill to another on the Kajikawa football practice fields Monday, news broke of Durant’s arrest on allegations of domestic violence and aggravated assault stemming from an incident March 6 in Tempe.
“Davon has been suspended for violation of team rules,” Graham announced without getting into further details. “I’ve said everything I’m going to say about it. Obviously, when you have these situations, if a guy gets arrested, they understand they’re going to be suspended.”
Durant is a 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker from South Carolina ranked by one recruiting service as a five-star prospect, the first to sign with ASU under Graham. He enrolled early to participate in spring practice, but was not listed on the roster handed out by the school.
“The process has to carry itself out,” Graham said. “Our standards are the highest. They are a lot higher than, I think, just about anybody around. There is accountability for those standards. If you’re going to step forward and make the stance that we do when it comes to character and respect and all those things, well obviously that’s something that is very, very important to us. But also, we owe it to our guys to let the process play itself out.”
The process, Graham explained, is the legal process.
“There’s a legal process, there’s school process, there’s all kinds of things like that,” he said. “You deserve due process and get all the facts, so that’s where we’re at on that deal right now. It’s something that happened almost a week ago, I believe. You got to let the process play itself out.”
Durant, who chose the Sun Devils over Oregon, Ole Miss and South Carolina, was expected to come in and compete right away for a starting job at the Devilbacker position.
“Every guy on our team knows, you get arrested, you’re getting suspended and most of the time that’s an indefinite suspension based on the process,” Graham said. “If you’re guilty, you’re going to be punished to the fullest. Our standards are extremely high; and it doesn’t really matter what anybody else’s standard, ours is going to be the highest standard.”
According to Maricopa County Superior Court, Durant is facing charges of disorderly conduct and aggravated assault with a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 18.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing any time you have something like that happen because we work so hard and we’ve got so many people that are representing the team the right way,” Graham said, before adding, “If we have a person get arrested, we’re always disappointed. That doesn’t happen around here. That’s not the norm and it’s something that we obviously don’t tolerate.”