Don’t expect one of Arizona State’s most talented defensive players to take the field when the Sun Devils commence spring practice next month. Or at any point in the near future after that, for that matter.
Defensive end Junior Onyeali was indefinitely suspended by new head coach Todd Graham last month for failing to meet “the high standards” of the football program. That suspension came on the heels of one levied by former head coach Dennis Erickson after the two reportedly became involved in a heated exchange, which resulted in the sophomore missing ASU’s bowl game.
With the spring sessions on the horizon, Graham said “no” when asked by the Arizona Republic if Onyeali would participate. “I don’t know, it’s up to him. We’ll see,” Graham said when asked if he’d be back at all.
Graham added that the program has given Onyeali a “very tough” plan to follow that would eventually allow for reinstatement.
After being named the Pac-10′s Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2010, Onyeali’s 2011 season was marred by a knee injury suffered early on in the season. Onyeali started seven of the eight games in which he played this season, totaling three tackles-for-loss and one sack.