Arizona State Sun Devils v Stanford Cardinal
Stanford Stadium – Stanford, CA
Score: Arizona State (24), Stanford (34)
Notable Prospects Entering the Contest
Arizona State Sun Devils
Demario Richard, RB, Senior: Has excellent feel and sublime vision. Regularly diagnosed cutback/bounce lanes with success and has a creator’s mindset. Reacts well to what he sees and can slalom through traffic. Can power through tackles and has some burst. When in the red zone, excellent processing speed flashed, leading to two TD runs. Made an excellent adjustment and hands grab down the field. Physical and low in pass protection, though hands were idle. Lacks significant twitch and has marginal open-field skills. Physical limitations cap his natural ability, but mental aspect of the game shines.
Kalen Ballage, RB, Senior: Has excellent suddenness for size (6-2 227). Regularly runs through arm tackles and carries would-be tacklers for extra yardage. Trusted on 3rd and 5+ situations to take direct snap, with marked success. Physical blocker, but must get lower. Runs decent routes in space. Has more pick-up speed than burst. Vision is only average. Has little evasiveness. With only limited touches, Ballage must show a higher propensity for explosive plays if he’s to improve his draft stock.
Alani Latu, DE, Redshirt Senior: Had occasional penetration with decent quickness and leverage. Struggled all game to diagnose offensive line movement and react accordingly. Was regularly uprooted and relocated with ease. Hands were slow and weak.
Bryce Love, RB, Junior: Has excellent patience and maximizes his blockers. Establishes advantageous angles with wiggle and skinniness through holes. Has exceptional contact balance and surprising toughness–rarely, if ever, brought down at first contact. Drives legs through contact and can move the pile. Straight-line burst and ability to hold long speed serve him well in second level. Foresight/anticipation help him alleviate lack of elite suddenness, especially when handling penetration or avoiding tacklers in space. Not the twitchiest runner and doesn’t create much for himself. Change of direction can become herky-jerky. Sometimes seems he needs to see it develop. Nuanced and cerebral, but not instinctive. Questions regarding the success of the system are warranted, but overall blend of speed, linear explosiveness, and lower body strength are tantalizing.
Harrison Phillips, DT, Senior: Works his hands well and plays with a nice motor. Can generate penetration by working half a man and softening angles. Has good processing as a two-gapper and regularly disengaged on time and in the hole. Lacks ideal sand in the pants to hold in up a similar role in the NFL, however. Upper body strength a question–tackles were slipped at a surprising frequency. Could be walked back if hands weren’t fitted properly. Build and play style fits a two-gapper nicely, but lack of power hamstrings NFL projection.
Peter Kalambayi, EDGE, Redshirt Senior: Has noticeable bend and can work outside track and slant inside with success. Rushes with tilt consistently, especially when working the inside track. Made some athletic plays against read option looks, including impressive TFL in space. Holds up well in the trenches despite suboptimal size, playing with good leverage. Struggled to hold a consistent edge against the rushing attack. Whiffed in space on a couple of reps. While unspectacular, has tools and plays a solid, well-rounded game.
Alijah Holder, CB, Senior: Missed the first-half due to a rollover targeting suspension. Lined up against ASU #1 (N’Keal Harry) often and played him with excellent physicality/aggressiveness. Has exceptional length and height for the position. Pressed with excellent technique and used sideline well. More targets, to observe ball skills, would be welcomed.
Quenton Meeks, CB, Junior: Has nice mirroring quickness down the field. Played with good physicality in the press, though saw more off-man reps. Frame fits that of NFL cornerback. Locates the ball quickly when turning his head and contests the catch point. Lost the edge early on a speed option–seemed confused. Turning and running a question, due to long speed concerns. As with teammate Holder, more targets would be welcomed.
Other Players that Flashed
Stanford’s Justin Reid, S, Junior: Made multiple heady plays and showed a nuanced understanding of route concepts and zone overlapping. Brought in two interceptions over the day, making one particularly impressive catch. Has nice closing speed and arrives with power, especially to the catch point (caused incompletion). Did well filling against the run and tackled decently in space. Merits a further look.
Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry, WR, Sophomore: Incredibly strong player with elite contact balance for WR. Has open-field tackle-breaking power, as well as solid elusiveness. Took multiple direct-snaps as Wildcat and showed prowess as a runner. Saw plenty of targets, but inaccurate balls and physical coverage limited his catches. Had an easy one-handed catch in space. Must refine release technique when facing press.
Stanford’s David Bright, LG, Senior: Was clearly the focal point of Stanford’s rushing attack; their primary puller. Has decent movement skills in space but a solid hit rate. Absolutely devastating power when square. When not pulling, shows good pad level and explosiveness off the ball. Works hands under pads well and generates consistent movement. Slow feet show up in pass protection; lateral quickness seems below average. Can anchor well if faced with bullrush. Merits a further look.
Stanford’s K.J. Costello, QB, Sophomore: Acquitted himself well in first career start. Has the requisite velocity to reach the boundary on time and with zip. Accuracy and ball placement in the short to intermediate impressed. Went through full-field reads and showed good patience in pocket. Diagnosed coverages a little slowly, but with success. Deep ball died in the air and regularly fell short.
Arizona State’s J’Marcus Rhodes, LB, Senior: High motor player. Pursuit downfield led to a strip inside the five. Plays with good leverage. Decent in man coverage, though lacking short area quicks. Did well through contact window to disrupt route stem. Far too undersized to play linebacker. Must improve coverage skills and speed to transition successfully to box safety.
Stanford’s JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Junior: Has excellent size and radius. Shows natural hands and addresses the ball at its highest point. Caught well through contact. Injured in first half and didn’t return.
Best Players on the Field
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
Eric Reid, S, Stanford
N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
David Bright, LG, Stanford
K.J. Costello, QB, Stanford
Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State
Alani Latu, DE, Arizona State