Whenever you head into spring ball, the last thing you want to talk about is a costly injury. That’s exactly what ASU head coach Todd Graham had to do on Tuesday.
Junior receiver Cameron Smith will miss the entire 2015 season with a knee injury. Graham didn’t reveal the details on what type of injury it was or how severe it was.
"It’s kind of complicated,” Graham said, citing student privacy laws. “It was a very unusual injury to the knee. It wasn’t an ACL. It wasn’t anything like that. It was just something that’s kind of an acute thing that happened and never could get it better.”"
Smith had a solid sophomore campaign in 2014. In 11 games, the product out of Texas had 41 receptions for 596 yards and six touchdowns. His big game came against Washington State when the wideout had six catches for 131 yards and a pair of scores.
This is obviously a big blow for the Sun Devils as Smith was expected to help feel the void left from Jaelen Strong heading to the NFL.
"“It’s a big, big blow for us,” Graham said Tuesday. “Cam had a very, very unique injury to his knee that was one that just wouldn’t get better and so we elected to do surgery, so he’ll be out for the season.”"
An even heavier burden will now be placed on D.J. Foster. The senior is transitioning from a running back to a receiver, something he should have no problem of doing considering how many catches he’s had out of the backfield over the past couple of years.
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It remains to be seen if too much is being placed on Foster’s shoulders, however.
Behind Foster are senior Gary Chambers, junior Frederick Gammage, redshirt junior Eric Lauderdale, sophomore Ellis Jefferson and redshirt freshmen Jalen Harvey and Tyler Whiley. Incoming freshman Terrell Chapman could be in the mix as well.
With Strong going to the pros and with Smith now out for the year, the Sun Devils are going to have to go with a committee approach behind Foster at receiver. It’s doable, but this receiving group would have been much better off with a healthy Smith.