Camp T Notebook: Pyne Embracing the Pines, Jake Smith Eligibility, No Team Without Nap Lawrence

The Sun Devils made the trip to Camp Tontozona on Wednesday and were greeted with rain and hail. 

They took to the turf on Thursday to get a practice in, and it sounds like the Sun Devils are embracing the camp lifestyle. From getting to mentally unplug to Elijhah Badger apparently falling off his bed, the comradery is starting to build. 

Pyne Embracing the Pines

One player that has embraced the Camp T experience is Notre Dame transfer quarterback Drew Pyne, calling Camp Tontozona a “top-3” field he’s played on. 

Jake Smith Eligibility

Shortly after practice concluded, reports began coming out that the NCAA had denied Jake Smith’s eligibility waiver, meaning he will not be able to play for the Sun Devils this year. Smith started his career at Texas and accumulated 48 catches for 568. yards and nine touchdowns in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. 

Smith transferred to USC and had a foot injury in 2021. He was declared a medical non-counter and would need to transfer from the Trojan program to continue his college football career. In 2022, he was a USC student but did not participate in any football activity. He transferred in January of 2023 to Arizona State. Because he had transferred twice before earning an undergrad degree, the NCAA rejected his eligibility request as a two-time transfer.

ASU safety Xavion Alford also transferred from Texas to USC before coming to the Sun Devils and his eligibility status is yet to be determined with the NCAA.

Smith is in his fifth year of college and still has more eligibility ahead of him due to a redshirt season and the 2020 not being counted toward the a player’s eligibility.

Smith was the 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year for Notre Dame Prep and tallied 5,352 all purpose yards and 72 total touchdowns over three years.

“We Don’t Have A Football Team Without Nap Lawrence”

The Sun Devils practiced on Thursday in front of a strong crowd of long-time Sun Devils. One of those fans in attendance is Nap Lawrence. You remember him…He was the individual that “asked a question” to head coach Kenny Dillingham during the coach’s introductory press conference and quickly revealed he was going to give $1 million to the Sun Angel Collective. 

On Thursday, Dillingham went out of his way to highlight the impact Lawrence made on the current roster to help jumpstart the new era of Sun Devil football.

Finally, if you plan to attend Saturday’s scrimmage at Camp T, here’s a few pieces of advice:

  • Show up early and be ready to walk. The parking is limited and fills up quickly. You more than likely will be parking on the State Route 260 median and being directed to the field, which can make for a hike.
  • You are able to bring in food and water to the camp, so definitely stock up on water and sunscreen. 
  • Don’t plan on tailgating on the state route: