November 26, 2008
Floyd set to return
Clint Floyd is glad to be back. Defensive tackle David Smith (stingers) will not play Friday.
The freshman safety was sidelined for the past month and a half with a lacerated kidney and returned as a full participant to practice on Monday.
He's a competitor and couldn't stand watching his teammates practice and play while he was forced to be a spectator.
"It's nice to be back," he said Tuesday. "It's just been two days, but I'm feeling real good. I missed this."
Coach Dennis Erickson said Floyd will play when ASU faces UCLA on Friday, but it will most likely be in a limited roll on special teams.
Floyd doesn't care. He just wants to play.
"Just getting back out there will be good for me," he said.
But Floyd will admit he wants to earn his old spot back.
Four games into the season, Floyd earned the starting strong safety position and was in the midst of a strong freshman campaign.
That however, was halted on Oct. 20 against USC.
Floyd was on the protection team during a punt when he was pushed down and landed wrong.
His left elbow jabbed into his side when he hit the ground, which lacerated his kidney.
"It was very painful for the first couple of weeks," he said. "Later that night after it happened I was urinating blood. It was one of the worst pains ever."
And what made his injury even tougher was the fact that there was no real treatment he could undergo to speed up the healing process.
All he could do was wait.
"Resting," he said, "that's all I could do."
But even though he was physically unable to practice, mentally, Floyd was still out there with his teammates.
"I was getting mental reps and it was real good for me," he said. "Seeing what the other guys were doing right and wrong really helped me. It showed me a lot of areas I need to get better at.
"At first, I was trying to learn so much, but this injury let me slow down and really focus on the little things that make you good."
When Floyd gets back out on the field Friday he won't be timid or scared.
He only knows how to play football one way - at full speed - and he won't let this injury affect him.
"I'm not even worrying about it," he said. "I'm acting like it never even happened. I'm going out there as the same person I've been all year."
When ASU faced Washington State on Nov. 15, it fixed a problem that had been plaguing the Sun Devils for more than two months.
For the first time since ASU faced UNLV on Sept. 13, it scored before its opponent.
"That helps," Erickson said.
Obviously, Erickson would like that trend to continue when it faces UCLA on Friday.
He said scoring first, especially at home, gets the game going in the right direction and helps establish the home field advantage.
"It's really important [to score] every time we line 'er up," he said. "If you can get some momentum going at home, get on the board at home, it gets the crowd into it. It gets everything going in the right direction.
"Hopefully we can do that."
This will mark the third game of the season and second in a row he has missed with stingers.
Paul 'Unga will start in Smith's place.
Linebacker Colin Parker is questionable for the UCLA game with a sore right knee.
For the second day in a row, Parker did not participate Tuesday and was icing his knee.
Parker had been playing on the strong side with the second unit. If he cannot play, either Mike Nixon (who would still start on the weak side) or Oliver Aaron would take his spot.
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