The Sun Devils' receivers in practice Tuesday. Photo by Jose M. Romero (SB Nation Arizona)

ASU Football: Pflugrad Brings Experience, Firsthand Knowledge To Receivers

The receivers made some impressive catches Tuesday at Sun Devils fall football camp practice.

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ASU's Aaron Pflugrad Is A Fall Camp Veteran

Aaron Pflugrad can't be fazed in the least bit by fall camp. The Sun Devil wide receiver was attending August wide receivers meetings with the Washington State Cougars when he was in sixth grade.

"Growing up, I was always around it," Pflugrad (pronounced "Flu-grad) said.

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 03: Aaron Pflugrad #89 of the Oregon Ducks carries the ball during the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Autzen Stadium on November 3, 2007 in Eugene, Oregon. The Ducks defeated the Sun Devils 35-23. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Pflugrad, now a junior at Arizona State who figures to see playing time as a slot receiver when the college football season begins, is the son of Montana head coach Robin Pflugrad. The elder Pflugrad has a long career in coaching, with stops at Portland State, Montana, ASU as wide receivers coach from 1995 to 2000, Washington State, Oregon and back to Montana in 2009 to coach receivers before becoming head coach earlier this year.

Consequently, Aaron grew up around football and had the benefit of learning from his dad and other top college assistants. He was a ballboy for the Cougars in tiny Pullman, Wash., then chose to start his college career with the Ducks. But he transferred after two years and chose to sit out the 2009 season per NCAA transfer rules so he could play for Dennis Erickson in Tempe.

Erickson, then the head coach at Idaho, recruited Pflugrad in 2006 when he was in high school, and offered him a scholarship. Pflugrad chose Oregon, where his father was coaching.

"It was a family draw. I wanted my family to watch me," Pflugrad said.

Pflugrad left Oregon when his dad went to Montana. He'd spent six years living in the Phoenix area when Robin was on the ASU staff, so returning to the Valley was like a homecoming.

Pflugrad could have transferred to Montana and played last season, but opted to wait until this season to join Erickson so he could play in a high-tempo offense. 


ASU Football Practice Report: Sore-Armed Samson Szakacsy Gets Day Off

The three-headed quarterback competition is the main storyline of Arizona State's fall football camp, and on Tuesday, one of the QBs got a day off. 

Junior Samson Szakacsky was told to take the day off, even though he was dressed in uniform, helmet and pads, by head coach Dennis Erickson. 

"Sam's elbow is tired, there was no point," Erickson said.

The competition remains tight. On Tuesday, the two other principals, Steven Threet and Brock Osweiler, got the vast majority of the snaps. Both made nice throws -- Threet hit wide receiver T.J. Simpson for a long gain down the sideline in one-on-one coverage against cornerback LeQuan Lewis -- but Erickson still had some criticism.

"We're going to miss throws, but we're missing too many reads," he said of his quarterbacks. Regarding Threet, he noted that the junior transfer ran a similar passing offense at Michigan.

The ASU receivers made fine catches but also dropped their fair share of balls. Mike Willie and George Bell made plays, but Simpson was the standout. He made the play of the day with a one-handed catch of a pass from freshman Taylor Kelly, who two plays later showed his youth and inexperience when he attempted a pass into the flat that was intercepted by defensive end Jamaar Jarrett for a touchdown. 

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