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How the loss of defensive star Jermayne Lole impacts Arizona State football

The Sun Devils lost the four-year starter on their defensive line to a triceps injury during fall camp.
Credit: AP
Arizona's Khalil Tate (14) is sacked by Arizona State's Jermayne Lole (90) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State's football season kicks off in a matter of days, but the Sun Devils will be missing a key player on their defensive line. 

Senior stud Jermayne Lole, a four-year starter and preseason All-Pac-12 selection, underwent surgery on a triceps injury sustained during fall camp.

The Long Beach Poly product was poised for a monster season with ASU in contention for a Conference Championship, but now the Sun Devils will be without one of their most experienced and talented players for what could be the entire 2021 season.

RELATED: ASU's Antonio Pierce addresses NCAA probe, coaching changes

Lole's defensive line coach, Robert Rodriguez, described his injury as "a freak thing" that was a gut punch for the team and its staff.

"I have such a love and respect for Jermayne. So when you lose Jermayne, you lose more than a player,"  Rodriguez told the media following Monday's practice. "It was a personal goal of mine to help him in every way that I could to have the best season of his life. And he was on track to do that. It's the best I've seen him, he was outstanding."

ASU's defense has looked solid throughout preseason camp and Lole was one of the impact players to watch.

Rodriguez said Lole's injury is heartbreaking but he and the coaching staff in Tempe have vowed to support their star lineman in his career pursuits once he's recovered.

RELATED: ASU Head Coach Herm Edwards focused on team’s discipline ahead of season opener

"I think for Jermayne, he needs to know that he still has a future," Rodriguez said. "I'm gonna do everything in my power. I know AP (Antonio Pierce), Marvin (Lewis), Herm (Edwards), and his teammates are gonna do everything in our power to help him realize that and so we still love him."

ASU head coach Herm Edwards has preached adaptability throughout preseason practices and Lole's loss will test the Sun Devils in that regard. Look to graduate student Shannon Forman and redshirt freshman Omar Norman-Lott to fill Lole's role throughout the regular season.

"Now, obviously losing Jermayne, you lose a lot of production there," Rodriguez said. "But I'm telling you right now, there's a lot of guys that work really hard that we're going to like when we're out there on the field."

The Sun Devils open their season at home on Thursday, September 2, against Southern Utah.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Follow the conversation with Lina Washington on Twitter: @LWashingtonTV. If you have a sports story idea, e-mail Lina at LWashington@12News.com.

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