TEMPE, Ariz. — During Tuesday’s night practice in Tempe, Arizona State head football coach Herm Edwards addressed the media for the first time since two more assistant coaches were put on administrative leave as the NCAA continues its probe into recruiting violations within the program.
Tight ends coach Adam Breneman was placed on administrative leave in late July while wide receivers coach Prentice Gill and defensive backs coach Chris Hawkins were with the team through its first week of training camp. Edwards has re-iterated that he can’t talk about the ongoing NCAA investigation, however, he fielded questions surrounding these coaching changes ahead of their 2021 season.
“Guys have been in the building so the players know who they are. So it’s not like ‘who’s this guy?’ these guys have been here,” Edwards said of the moves he’s had to make on his coaching staff.
Edwards has tapped Juston Wood, Donnie Henderson and Trey Anderson to serve as interim assistant coaches. Wood will work with the tight ends while Henderson will coach the defensive backs.
“Donnie Henderson was my defensive coordinator in New York,” Edwards said. “He’s been a great coach in the league. We got guys who have been in the room so we’re fine.”
Anderson, who is in his first season as an analyst, will work with the quarterbacks more and graduate assistant Bobby Wade will continue working with the wide receivers.
“Bobby’s been here so Bobby gets it. Played in the National Football League. He’s got a lot of knowledge and he’s a good coach,” Edwards said. “He’s interviewed for the wide receiver job, too, so it’s not like these guys are new. They’re not new. They know the system, they know the players. So it’s just a different voice running the meeting.”
As the NCAA continues to look into whether or not ASU violated its rules by hosting recruits during a COVID-19 dead period, Edwards remains focused on his team’s season opener at Sun Devil Stadium against Southern Utah on Sept. 2. Edwards said Tuesday night these coaching changes are a lesson in adaptability for his team and he’s not concerned with how the absence of three assistant coaches might impact recruiting in the future.
“We’re not recruiting right now. I mean, we’re talking to kids but I think the best recruiting you can ever do is win. We still have to win games and that’s what we’re practicing to do and we fill those spots with some guys who have been here so it’s not like we weren’t prepared.”
Edwards will be taking his team back up to Camp Tontozona this Saturday. COVID-19 precautions kept the Sun Devils from returning to Camp T in 2020.
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