Being here at Kohl’s Ranch and Camp Tontozona for the past few days, I can truly say that this is a different world up here.
First of all, not having any cell service is really strange, but kind of refreshing at the same time, because you don’t have to worry about checking your phone every two seconds (even though I catch myself doing it, even as my phone says “No service”).
Second of all, it’s MUCH cooler up here than it is down in the Valley (you have to come up here to see the football team AND to get away from that oven we call Phoenix!)
From a work perspective, this is my first “Camp T” experience, and I’m enjoying it a lot.
Brad, Natalie and I went to the Sun Devils first practice on Wednesday morning, and I can tell you that this will be a FAST team, and a disciplined team this season, just judging by the way head coach Todd Graham and his coaching staff ran that practice.
I have no doubt that this will be one of the most well conditioned teams in the Pac-12, let alone the country, because I don’t think that Graham and his coaches are the type that would ever let up on the players for a second when it’s time to practice and perfect things.
Just standing on the sidelines, I could feel the intensity and the sense of urgency to win running through the players and coaches.
If you’re a Sun Devil football fan, you should be happy to hear me say that. Although there’s a new sheriff and posse in town that’s running this team, this leadership doesn’t look like a bunch of newbies.
I liked the energy that the players were giving back to their coaches as well. Of course there were mistakes made (that’s why it’s called “training camp”), but the mistakes weren’t bad enough that they weren’t correctable. That’s why they have multiple practices.
A word on Graham: if you never saw him before in life, within the first 10 seconds of practice you could spot him, because he’s all over the field.
Graham seems like a man who is bent on winning, and winning big.
He’s a teacher and most definitely a father figure to these young men. I can tell just by watching how he interacts with the kids. He wants them to grow into quality men, just as much as he wants them to be champions on the field.
If these young men can survive the next few days up here, they will definitely head back to the Valley as a new team, ready to take on whatever and whomever.