October 1, 2004
ASU tailback Preston Jones was fielding questions from reporters after Thursday's practice when linebacker Jamar Williams butted in to spoon-feed Jones a quote.
“My name is Preston Jones," Williams said, “My strength comes from my hair."
At 5-foot-7, 181 pounds, Jones certainly can't rely on his size.
But with Loren Wade suspended indefinitely and Randy Hill out for the season with a torn ACL, the redshirt freshman with the big hairdo still has to fill the backup tailback position Saturday at Oregon. “It's nothing new for me because I know the offense," Jones said. “It's just a matter of me performing when I get my chance."
How much Jones plays will be dictated by the tenor of the game. But ASU assistant coach Mark Helfrich said if Jones and part-time receiver/kick returner Rudy Burgess do see time at tailback behind starter Hakim Hill, the Devils have thrown in some wrinkles that will cater to their strengths.
“We're certainly not going to be running any dives for them," Helfrich said.
That's fine with Jones, whose 6-foot-4 brother, Brad, play at Colorado.
“I guess I got my mother's genes," he said.
FRONT AND CENTER
Helfrich said center Drew Hodgdon had a “terrific" week of practice and will return to his starting role Saturday at Eugene, after coming off the bench in a win over Oregon State. Hodgdon missed the first three games of the season with a broken foot.
TROUBLES OF THEIR OWN
ASU isn't alone in dealing with off-field (Loren Wade) issues. Oregon receiver-turned-defender Jordan Carey was dismissed from the team Tuesday for "repeated violation of team rules." Carey was the Seattle Times state player of the year in 2003 and one of the Ducks most hyped recruits.
"It's the same thing we deal with every year," Ducks coach Mike Bellotti told The (Eugene) Register-Guard. "Life goes on."
The ASU defense was featured on SI.com Thursday. . . . Several ASU football players will speak to students at Pioneer Elementary School in Gilbert on Oct. 4 about staying in school, staying away from drugs and dealing with football, family and education. . . . Former Arizona coach John Mackovic will join Ernie Johnson in the TBS studio for Saturday's broadcast.