Jonesboro (ASU) - Dressed out in full pads for the first time this spring, the Arkansas State football team held its fourth practice of spring camp Monday inside ASU Stadium and concluded the workout with a full-contact team session that featured 15 plays focusing on 1st-and-10 situations.
Not only was the final team period the first time the Red Wolves went full contact since starting its spring camp last Monday, it was also the first competition period between the offense and defense this year. Following practice, ASU head coach Steve Roberts said that both sides of the ball performed well at times during the competition segment won by the offense.
"I thought we competed hard and it went well - we just need to build off it," said Roberts. "We had some big plays on both sides of the football. I thought Jermaine Robertson showed out at running back and really ran the football well. Andre Smith ran the football well and Dwayne Frampton had a big run. It's hard to evaluate the guys up front on either side of the football until you watch film, but we created some holes offensively and had some sacks and ran to the ball well defensively. They just have to play low. We're still feeling our way through it somewhat and not playing fast enough or physical enough at all 22 positions."
The offensive highlights included a 20-yard run by wide receiver Frampton on the first play, a five-yard run and 11-yard catch and run by Robertson, a 10-yard run by Smith and a nine-yard rush by Derek Lawson. Redshirt freshman quarterback Phillip Butterfield was 3-of-6 passing with a long of 16 yards to receiver Anthony Robinson.
"We're real pleased with Frampton," Roberts said of the mid-term signee who transferred to ASU from Los Angeles Harbor College. "Obviously, everything is still new to him and he's still learning, but he's an explosive athlete that can really go get the football."
In addition to working out with the wide receivers as usual, Smith went through quarterback drills and took snaps at the position for the first time this spring. The sophomore standout originally signed with ASU as a quarterback, and while he took limited snaps at quarterback last season, moved to wide receiver during last year's spring camp.
"Our plan from the beginning was to start getting him some reps at quarterback this week," Roberts said of Smith. "He got more reps than we expected him to get today, but he adjusted and made some great plays. He is going to figure into our plans with some things as a quarterback next year, and I am really pleased with the way he competed today."
The defensive play of the day came on an interception by cornerback Jonathan Victorian, who then pitched it to linebacker Demario Davis for a 40-yard touchdown return. Sophomore defensive end Timothy Starson was also responsible for a sack , while Michael Lombardo and Bryan Hall combined for a tackle for loss on another play.
Also coming out of ASU's spring camp today, quarterback and former Greene Co. Tech standout Seth Tripod has left the team for personal reasons. Tripod went through the Red Wolves' first three practices before deciding to leave the team.
ASU will hold its next practice Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.. Wednesday's practice will include a controlled scrimmage with scripted plays and situations that is expected to run about 50 plays.