Marshall likes new direction under Graham - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Ahwatukee Sports

Marshall likes new direction under Graham

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Jason P. Skoda is the sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Contact him at (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com

Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 2:30 pm | Updated: 8:46 am, Thu Jan 19, 2012.

While watching Izzy Marshall try and leave the Mountain Pointe gym the other night, it made me wonder if he ever left anywhere on time.

That will not go over too well with his new head coach.

Marshall takes time to hug and/or give a handshake to everyone he comes across.

He eventually found time to talk a minute about his first year at Arizona State and the coaching situation.

"I'm living the dream," he said. "I'm in a great situation. I've learned a lot and can't wait to start playing."

Marshall, who redshirted this year, has been impressed with the new coaching staff, as Todd Graham replaced Dennis Erickson, saying this transition looks very familiar.

"Nothing against Coach (Phil) Abbadessa, but this is just like when Coach (Norris) Vaughan took over Mountain Pointe," Marshall said. "There is a complete change of culture. It is all about discipline.

"I like it. It is what I need and Coach Vaughan and Coach Graham have a lot of the same ideas about how you do things."

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound outside linebacker said the team has responded well to the new direction and expects Graham's ways will push the Sun Devils to the next level.

ASU had its best chance to do something special this past season with USC on probation and controlling its own destiny the second half of the Pac-12 South schedule. Instead the Sun Devils went down in flames.

It is clear there is plenty of talent within the program but the players needed some direction.

Marshall thinks Graham is the one to do it.

"Although getting up at 5:30 (a.m.) can be hard," he said. "I like to sleep in a little bit at least and we could do that with Coach Erickson, but not anymore."

Contact writer: 480-272-2449 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JskodaAFN.

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