Depending on where you stand, Todd Graham's list of catchphrases and slogans he's developed since taking over the Arizona State football program are either a refreshing new perspective, or just another reason to throw some disdain in his direction.
Whether he is going "all in" with a "high octane" approach or are speeding along in the "left lane" with the "hammer down", Graham has been a quote machine to rival Ron Burgundy. However, the one phrase that has stood above all has been "Speaking Victory", which he unveiled during his introductory press conference.
With the results of this new attitude having begun to produce significant results on the recruiting trail, in the community and with the fanbase, the most crucial impact has and will continue to be inside the locker room with the Sun Devils themselves.
Over at House of Sparky, we've been talking to the key players for this upcoming season and going in-depth on a number of key topics. One such topic just happens to be how they personally define "Speaking Victory". There answers have provided a fascinating glimpse into the new mindset of Sun Devil football.
Linebacker Brandon Magee
"Speaking Victory is positivity every day. When somebody asks me on the outlook for the season, I say 'National championship'. We haven't played a game yet, so I'm going to say national championship until somebody takes us out. Speaking Victory is speaking victory about your teammates. Don't talk down to your teammates, don't talk down to anyone in the building, nobody is better than any one here. Staying level-headed and just positive living."
Quarterback Mike Bercovici
"Speaking Victory...I love that phrase. Anytime any one of us speaks, it's like Coach Graham is sitting right next to us. I have so much respect for him in the little amount of time he's been here. Just like having your dad right there. You're not going to badmouth someone when your dad is right there. That's my version of 'Speaking Victory' is that Coach Graham is watching me everywhere [laughs]. Sometimes I feel like he is watching us. He's everywhere."
Safety Alden Darby
"Doing the right things.It is being motivated in a positive way in the right direction, and reaching for the best and never seeing the worst in things. If you have a hard day of work, you don't want to say 'I don't want to do it.' You want to say, 'You know what Coach Gris (strength and conditioning coach Shawn Griswold), is this all you got for me? Let's go. It's only going to get me better.' We're all Division I athletes here for one reason, and one reason only--to win championships. You have to be Speaking Victory everyday to do that."
Devilbacker Carl Bradford
"Speaking Victory is not just on the football field or around the stadium. It's about your everyday life. Staying positive about everything in life. Not just when we step into the building. It's about when we're out or at the house. Never talk negative, always have positive thoughts. That's a great way to live."
Running back James Morrison
"Going out and winning everyday. Being a man of character, a man of discipline. Making the right choices on and off the field, away from the facility. Doing everything the right way, doing all the small things. It's not just football, it's very beneficial in life, for life after football and after college."
Kicker Alex Garoutte
"Everything you do, do it to the best of your ability. Always talking positive. Never bringing down each other. Let the coaches do the coaching, always bring each other up. People have a perspective of football players, how they are just jocks, aren't good in the classroom, aren't nice to people on the street. It's getting rid of that image. Just going out, meeting people and putting out a good image of the football team. Letting them know that we believe and giving them reason to believe."
Center Kody Koebensky
"We all need to stay positive and everything we do is at a championship level. If we do everything that we're doing, in the weight room and film room to achieve victory. By speaking it, we're putting it into our minds that that's what we're going to do this season."
Safety Keelan Johnson
"Speaking Victory is staying humble and staying hungry at the same time. Knowing what you have to do to get your job done."
Cornerback Deveron Carr
"When you wake up with a positive outlook on everything everyday. Manners. Discipline. 'Speaking Victory' is winning everyday. When you workout, the workout doesn't beat you, you beat it. In the classroom, the homework doesn't beat you, you beat it. You respect your elders, you help people out. You do community service, you respect your mother. You respect everyone around you. The way you dress, you are kept well. Respect everybody. That's winning everyday. Helping people is winning everyday. Not taking from people, but giving to people."
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