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April 20, 2010It would probably take a spreadsheet to accurately keep track of all the injuries to Arizona State's offensive line over the last few years. The list grew by one Tuesday when projected starting left guard Jon Hargis learned that he'd torn the anterior crucial ligament in his left knee in Saturday's scrimmage.
Hargis said he felt a pop in the knee during the scrimmage but it was a non-contact injury and didn't feel particularly different from other times he'd felt a give in joint.
"I just found out three and a half hours ago, like 2 o'clock today," Hargis said following practice. "So I've shed my tears. It's a reality check. You always hear, 'play like it's your last play.' You always here that but you never react to it. You're just like, 'it sucks for that guy.' You hear stories about guys tearing their ACL but it's like 'I hope it doesn't happen to me.' But it was like a reality check. Like, 'what am I going to do from here?'"
Sun Devil coach Dennis Erickson said his team has been snake bit with injuries across the offensive front since he's been in Tempe.
Hargis' injury didn't look particularly serious. He was seen jogging on the sidelines following the play where the injury occurred and there wasn't much swelling immediately after. Thus, it was a surprise when the news became a worst-case scenario.
"It's too bad for him," Erickson said. "Senior year, fifth year I should say. Really nobody even hit him. In the scrimmage when they looked at him they didn't think it was anything and then all of a sudden they had the MRI today and said it was an ACL. I was shocked."
Though it would appear likely considering the typical recovery period for such an injury, Erickson isn't ruling anything out.
" He's going to have to have surgery here in the next month or so," Erickson said. "Who knows. I'm not a surgeon but those things take a while so I doubt he'll play. If he plays it'll be later on in the year."
Erickson has boasted of his team's improved offensive line depth, and it's been on display in recent spring practices as Zach Schlink, Matt Hustad, Mike Marcisz, Adam Tello and Patrick Jamison have all missed multiple practices or the entire month.
Tuesday, Kyle Johnson and Kody Koebensky were promoted to first-team duties on the left side of the line, with Brice Schwab and Andrew Sampson on the right side. Evan Finkenberg worked with the second-team at left tackle and Johnson with the second-team at right guard. Garth Gerhart pulled double duty with both teams as Trent Marsh worked at second-team guard along with Chris De Armas due to a lack of bodies.
"We've got a lot of young guys who can play and we've got another junior college guy (Aderious Simmons)\ coming in," Erickson said.
"We'll mix and match. We've got about 10, 11 guys. It's not like we've got four guys."
Hargis could apply with the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility should he not play this season.
After somewhat of a slow start this spring, Erickson said junior quarterback Steven Threet has been improved of late.
"He's played a lot better," Erickson said. "He played well in the scrimmage Saturday. He's throwing the ball more accurately. He's starting to get a bit more comfortable.
"It's good to see that. That battle (between Threet and sophomore Brock Osweiler) is a battle. I wouldn't even have a clue who [will win the starting job]. I imagine it wouldn't come until some time in the fall. We'll have to wait and see."