Updated Apr 10, 2014 - 6:52 pm
ASU's Mo Latu losing weight and gaining confidence
Graham made sure to let everyone, including the media, know how he felt.
"One reason why you say whatever you think is because kids read it," Graham said with a smile after practice on Thursday. "The D-line a little p.o.'d and came out here today and responded. I like how they responded."
In particular, Graham singled out redshirt junior Mo Latu.
"Came out with a purpose," Latu said, adding he took Graham's words to heart, saying he wanted to, "go out there and blow up everybody. If the whistle was blown, the whistle was blown. I was making sure I got my point across."
"He was the leader of the defensive line today," the coach said. "He's got unbelievable potential."
For Latu, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 370 pounds, to reach that potential he needs to lose more weight. Already he said he's shed 24 pounds with a goal, what he called his "ideal" playing weight, of 330-335 pounds for the upcoming season.
Latu is committed, spending 45 to 50 minutes each day running on a treadmill, including jogging at a 10 percent incline, and exercising on a Stairmaster.
"It's all worth it," he said. "First time doing the Stairmaster and getting off of it, my legs were dead. But then the second practice, the Stairmaster came to my advantage. I'm building up muscle and everything so my steps are more powerful now. I look at it as another way to get better."
Latu mentioned that even with the weight he's lost thus far he can feel a difference, and his coach is excited about what the change can mean.
"We're an attack front… (And) you can't, at that weight -- at 350-plus be able to -- you can't rush the passer, be able to move and do the stunts that we require on our defense," Graham said. "We're going to do whatever it takes to help him because it's also a health issue. You don't need to weigh that much. But he's got a great heart and a guy that I'm really, really proud of how he's working right now."
Craig Grialou, Reporter
- Todd Graham on ASU's first day of practice: 'We couldn't have been any better'
- Sun Devils ranked 18th in preseason coaches poll
- ASU's Todd Graham: 'This is the best offensive team I've been around'
- ESPN ranks ASU's Taylor Kelly and Jaelen Strong among top 100 players in college football
- ASU coach Todd Graham excited for Taylor Kelly and offense's potential in 2014
- Tracy Smith, ASU Baseball Head Coach - Thursday July 31ASU baseball’s new head coach Tracy Smith talks about taking over the program.
- Todd Graham, ASU Football Head Coach - Thursday July 31Head coach Todd Graham talks about the upcoming season of ASU football.
- Dr. Michael Crow, ASU president - Wednesday July 23ASU president Dr. Michael Crow is this week’s guest on the Fork Report.
- Adam Archuleta, former ASU & NFL defensive back - Wednesday July 16Former ASU & NFL DB Adam Archuleta is the guest on this week’s ASU Fork Report.
- Darren Woodson, former Sun Devil & NFL defensive back - Wednesday July 9Former Sun Devil DB Darren Woodson shares his thoughts on ASU football.