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August 26, 2009

Brooks suspended for first three games

There was plenty of addition and subtraction going around the Arizona State football team on Tuesday, not to mention some disciplinary action.

Following Tuesday's practice, coach Dennis Erickson said sophomore defensive end James Brooks will be suspended for three games for violating unspecified team rules. Brooks will still be able to practice with the team but won't return until ASU's Pac-10 opener against Oregon State on Oct. 3.

"Any time you lose a player it affects you depth-wise," Erickson said. "But we've got some ways to [combat the problem]."

But that wasn't the only big news concerning the defensive line. Sophomore defensive tackle Lawrence Guy didn't suit up on Tuesday, after pulling a biceps muscle during weight training Monday.

As a result, Erickson rolled out a bevy of changes to the front four.

Senior Dexter Davis made the switch from weakside end -- where he had played all of camp -- to the strongside, vaulting junior Dean DeLeone to the first unit.

"[DeLeone] could be a starter at the weakside," Erickson said. "That's something that we're looking at. Who's going to step up? Is it going to be DeLeone? Is it going to be [sophomore defensive end Jamaar] Jarrett? We just got to look at it and see what the best two ends are regardless of weak or strong."

One thing we know for sure: Davis is starting. Whether he sticks at weakside or makes the move to strongside will be determined over the next 11 days. When asked about the value of having a consistent, flexible player like Davis, Erickson let out a huge sigh of relief.

"It's a big luxury," Erickson said. "It's nice to have a player like that."

Sans Guy, the middle of the d-line also looked a little different on Tuesday. Freshman tackle William Sutton took snaps with the No. 1s at the 3-technique position while senior Saia Falahola held on to the projected starting 1-technique spot.

There was some good news at Tuesday's practice, though. Sophomore linebackers Shelly Lyons (knee) and Brandon Magee (ankle) were in full pads and participated throughout the session. Lyons didn't look like he was able to go 100 percent, but Magee was moving around very well.

Then there was the secondary, which was still without senior cornerback Terell Carr (back). Erickson said Carr is day-to-day.

Sophomore cornerback Josh Jordan (back) returned to the practice field Tuesday, but that didn't stop Erickson from trying out sophomore Clint Floyd at cornerback. Floyd, who has received plenty of reps at starting safety during camp, saw time as a backup left cornerback Tuesday.

"[The coaches] told me [about the change] last week," Floyd said. "But I didn't believe them until today when they told me I was practicing at corner. It is what it is."

Erickson said Floyd's move wasn't permanent, but that the coaches just wanted to get a new look.

There was also some shuffling on the other side of the ball.

Sophomore Zach Schlink, who has been competing for the starting right guard position, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Monday after it swelled up. It comes as another setback to Schlink, who is trying to recover from last year's microfracture surgery on his right knee.

Without Schlink, sophomore Andrew Sampson lined up as the starting right guard. Sampson was also the second-team center, with sophomore Garth Gerhart (turf toe) held out of Tuesday's practice. Sampson was flanked by sophomore tackle Matt Hustad on Tuesday's first-team offensive line.

Sophomore quarterback Samson Szakacsy (elbow) was back in action on Tuesday but Erickson said Sczakasy's elbow was bothersome.


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