RB Ryan Torain
Coach: Dennis Erickson
1st year
2006 Record: 7-6
at Colorado WON 21-3
at California LOST 21-49
at Southern California LOST 21-28
at Washington WON 26-23 (OT)
at Oregon State LOST 10-44
at Arizona WON 28-14
Hawai'i LOST 24-41

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

For the past two seasons, Arizona State has had very talented rosters yet underachieved each time. Thus begins the Dennis Erickson era. ‘Promising’ was getting to be a bad word in Tempe, but that is how we will describe the potential that this National Champion coach currently affords the Sun Devils. The offense is stacked and ready – every position returns multiple starters (except at TE) – while the defense brings in coordinator Craig Bray to shore up the loose ends there. The offense has less work to do, though coaching up QB Rudy Carpenter to instill more consistency is a must before ASU gets back to the conference’s upper half. Similarly, the pass defense cannot have its performance plotted like a rollercoaster ride if the Sun Devils are to regain their poise. State’s slate sees a manageable list of non-cons as well as visits from USC, Cal and Oregon State, last year’s top three in the conference. They only go on the road four times. The slew of four games from late October through the end of November will define the season in Tempe, and going just 2-2 during that span will signify improvements are occurring (went 0-4 against those teams in ’06). Maybe a top 25 team by season’s end, these new-look Sun Devils will turn up the heat in the desert and (finally) live up to these more scaled-back (unranked) preseason expectations.

Projected 2007 record: 8-4
QB - 4 DL - 3.5
RB - 4 LB - 3
WR - 3.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Rudy Carpenter, 184-332-14, 2523 yds., 23 TD

Rushing: Ryan Torain, 223 att., 1229 yds., 7 TD

Receiving: Mike Jones, 20 rec., 318 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Ryan Torain, 10 TD, 60 pts.

Punting: Jonathan Johnson, 54 punts, 41.5 avg.

Kicking: None

Tackles: Josh Barrett, 82 tot., 58 solo

Sacks: Dexter Davis, 6 sacks

Interceptions: Josh Barrett, 3 for 42 yds.

Kickoff Returns:
Chris McGaha, 9 ret., 16.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns:
Kyle Williams, 14 ret., 5.5 avg., 0 TD


DB Josh Barrett
OFFENSE: Terry Richardson-WR, Stephen Berg-OT, Andrew Carnahan-OT, Jesse Ainsworth-K, Zach Miller-TE (NFL)
DEFENSE: Jordan Hill-DT, Will Kofe-DT, Kyle Caldwell-DE, Beau Manutai-MLB, Derron Ware-WLB, Keno Walter-White-CB, Zach Catanese-S

In his first year as the starter, junior QB Rudy Carpenter had consistency problems that cost State quite often. Flashes of brilliance give promise that the quick-footed hurler can get into a permanent groove and take ASU as far as this much talent deserves to go. Carpenter’s health is important to team success. Senior Ryan Torain has the size-speed combination any coach covets, and the entire RB three-deep returns so the Sun Devil running game should again be strong for all 60 minutes each week. “H”-back Brent Miller stays (unlike his All-American twin Zach) and should be effective (even) with a modest amount of touches. The receivers also come back in mass, with its top five snarlers ready to go. The Sun Devil three-, four- and five-WR sets will thrive with defenders having to respect the running game. A ‘go to’ receiver has to be established if the TE slot cannot carry the weight Z. Miller did. An almost all-senior line – yes, all returning starters – gives this offense little excuse if they cannot produce at a higher level. The lone junior, all-Pac Ten guard selection Paul Fanaika, is a monster at 355 pounds, and center Mike Pollack and LT Brandon Rodd (also all-league) need only to pick up the pass protection to grade out at the needed level for ASU to avoid the offensive dropoff seen last year. Coach Erickson should be just what the doctor ordered so the talent here can fulfill its potential and not sputter at the most needed times.


QB Rudy Carpenter


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Rudy Carpenter-Jr (6-2, 199) Danny Sullivan-So (6-4, 236)
TB Ryan Torain-Sr (6-1, 213) Keegan Herring-Jr (5-10, 186)
Dimitri Nance-So (5-10, 204)
WR Kyle Williams-So (5-10, 185) Rudy Burgess-Sr (5-10, 188)
Rodney Glass-Fr (5-10, 169)
WR Brandon Smith-So (6-2, 200) Nate Kimbrough-Jr (6-1, 189)
Jeff Gray-Sr (5-11, 177)
WR Chris McGaha-So (6-1, 189) Mike Jones-Jr (6-4, 208)
TE Brent Miller-Sr (6-5, 237) Andrew Pettes-Jr (6-4, 252)
OT Brandon Rodd-Sr (6-4, 303) Julius Orieukwu-Sr (6-7, 317)
OG Robert Gustavis-Sr (6-3, 303) ..
C Mike Pollak-Sr (6-4, 292) Thomas Altieri-So (6-2, 292)
OG Paul Fanaika-Jr (6-6, 359) Shawn Lauvao-So (6-3, 307)
OT Zach Krula-Sr (6-7, 320) Richard Tuitu'u-So (6-4, 350)
K Thomas Weber-Fr (6-1, 202) ..



Even with some losses along this oft-rotated line, rush end Dexter Davis flourished enough last year as a RS frosh that, along with senior all-Pac Ten selection Mike Marquardt, there is a solid foundation upon which to build. Marquardt, a BYU-transfer, moves very well for his girth at tackle. David Smith and Tranell Morant are the extent of the team’s linemen with significant real game reps, ergo we will have to wait and see if they can allow less than ten ground scores again. That is especially true with a totally revamped LB grouping, but like the linemen, the new LBs all played extensively in ’06 so any transition time should be minimal. Senior MLB Robert James is the only upperclassman amongst them. This well-sized corps can cover ground, something that is needed after ASU’s marginal underneath coverage proved an Achilles’ heel in ’06. The latest group of LB recruits is even faster – expect to see some unknown faces early if foes can consistently hurt ASU with short passes. Along these lines of thought, something has to give with their 73rd-ranked pass defense that allowed 28 aerial TDs, especially since there are two senior returning starters that garnered all-Pac Ten status amongst them. Corner Justin Tryon plays much bigger than his 5’9 stature, while converted-WR and classmate Rudy Burgess has progressed well to easily earn the start opposite Tryon. Josh Barrett really smacks ball-carriers, but the Reno-native, like the other safeties, need(s) to play deep center more to keep the play in front of him/them. In the pass-happy Pac Ten, improvements amongst the DBs will go a long way toward earning the team more wins. Erickson brings in Matt Lubick (son of Colorado State head coach Sonny Lubick) to stem the secondary’s shortcomings – he and corners coach Al Simmons have their work cut out, but we expect to see results with new blood overseeing the proceedings.


DT Michael Marquardt


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Dexter Davis-So (6-2, 247) Eric Tanner-Jr (6-2, 253)
DT Michael Marquardt-Sr (6-4, 295) Tashaka Merriweather-Sr (6-5, 286)
DT David Smith-Jr (6-3, 280) Jon Hargis-Fr (6-4, 310)
DE Kellen Mills-Sr (6-3, 243) Luis Vasquez-Jr (6-2, 247)
LB Mike Nixon-So (6-3, 232) Travis Goethel-So (6-3, 229)
LB Ryan McFoy-So (6-2, 201) Jamarr Robinson-Fr (6-2, 234)
LB Morris Wooten-Jr (6-1, 237) Robert James-Sr (5-11, 229)
CB Jarrell Holman-Jr (6-0, 184) Chris Baloney-Sr (6-1, 194)
CB Justin Tryon-Sr (5-10, 180) Chad Green-Sr (5-11, 184)
S Josh Barrett-Sr (6-3, 231) Troy Nolan-Jr (6-2, 204)
S Jeremy Payton-Jr (6-1, 210) Angelo Fobbs-Valentino-Jr (6-1, 200)
P Jonathan Johnson-Sr (6-1, 226) ..




Senior punter Jonathan Johnson controls his efforts well, and State should again finish in the top 25 for net results. With no other placekicker on the roster as this is written, Johnson looks in line to wear that hat, too, though his longest JUCO effort was a modest 49 yards. Due to their speedy starting corners, the loss of backup receiver Terry Richardson hopefully doesn’t mean State’s return game will suffer.