At his introductory press conference Monday, Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards bristled when fielding a question from a reporter from Devils Digest. He even asked the reporter where Devils Digest was located, which led some to speculate that Edwards didn’t know that Arizona State’s mascot is, well, a Sun Devil.
Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney got that cleared up Wednesday.
“Yes, are you kidding me?” the 63-year-old Edwards said, when asked if he knew what Arizona State’s mascot was. “I got recruited from Arizona State. Frank Kush recruited me (in the 1970s). Look, I knew Arizona State before half those people – whatever they were tweeting – they weren’t even born (when I was getting recruited by Arizona State).”
Ah, yes. Edwards, as you may recall from his television days, is not fond of Twitter.
Well, that needs to change if he’s going to connect with high school athletes. Luckily, he has interacted with many recruits over the years at the Under Armour High School All-America Game.
“I question them this way,” Edwards said. “What are your dreams, what are your desires, and what are your ambitions as far as being a student-athlete? It’s kind of interesting when you ask them that. Everyone’s been asking about being a football player. I ask them those three questions right there. They look at you and I go, ‘You need to think about that. Because when you enter that campus, everyone’s going to know you as a football player, but you’re a student-athlete. You want to leave this campus well-equipped so if you don’t become a pro football player, (then) in the real world, in life, you’ve done enough here and I’ve helped you with that to be well-equipped to deal with anything you have to deal with in life.'”
Edwards, relatively speaking, doesn’t have a massive rebuild on his hands – Arizona State is 18-19 over the last three seasons – but there are question marks. After all, Edwards has never been a college head coach and hasn’t coached at any level since 2008. On the flip side, a generation of players grew up watching him on television.
So they – and their parents – shouldn’t be surprised with his candidness.
“I’m going to tell them the truth,” Edwards said. “I’m an honest guy. The thing that they’ll realize is I’m the same guy on television when I walk in their living room. That’s who I am. They’ll understand that. I’m going to be honest about their son’s skill, his athletic skill, and share with them the positive things about Arizona State in the classroom and the community and (about) our expectations. When he leaves there, he’s going to graduate, he’s going to be a well-rounded young man, he’s going have leadership aspirations, and if he has the talent to play in the National Football League, he’ll be well-equipped to do that as well. That’s what I’m going to bring to the table. If they’ve watched me for the last nine years on television, my actions and my words match up. I’ve got an opportunity. And I’m going for it.”