It’s not hard to believe Arizona State head coach Todd Graham’s “left lane, hammer down” attitude started long ago.
“He’d hang around at night, he’d hang around at practice,” College Football Hall of Fame coach and Texas A&M legend R.C. Slocum told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview earlier this week. “Every time you got around him he was wanting to know about this, how do you do [that].”
The two first met when Graham was coaching high school ball in his home state of Texas and Slocum was helping lead the Aggies and their vaunted “Wrecking Crew” defense in the early to mid 1990’s. Slocum would hold high school camps in College Station and Graham was always quick to bend his ear when invited to participate.
“Todd was one of those guys that I recognized back then as a bright young coach,” Slocum said.
Graham’s Texas roots run deep as evidenced by ASU’s collection of players from the Lone Star State. He has adopted certain coaching strategies and techniques from his mentors. One of those being Slocum whose son Shawn Slocum is Graham’s associate head coach and happens to be starting his Sun Devil coaching career against his alma mater Saturday night in Houston.
“R.C. is a person I really studied under,” Graham said at his weekly Monday press conference. “I spent a lot of time around that program.”
The fifth-year ASU coach is hoping A&M doesn’t spoil his homecoming this weekend.