Herrold receives SBC weekly honor
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 15:10
Senior linebacker Nathan Herrold is being honored as the Sun Belt defensive player of the week after his efforts in Saturday’s homecoming game against the South Alabama Jaguars.
“Nate is a joy to coach, he puts in the time, he puts in extra time, he studies and he is the unquestionable leader of our defense,” said defensive coordinator John Thompson. Herrold racked-up a career-high 17 tackles against South Alabama, making him ASU’s leading tackler.
Herrold’s tackles output against South Alabama represented the most by an ASU player since 2005, when Tyrell Johnson racked up 25 tackles against North Texas. “In all the years that I have coached I don’t think I have ever seen a guy work as hard as he has,” Thompson said.
Herrold is no stranger to success. Playing three years at Ozark High School in Ozark, Mo.
Herrold recorded 379 tackles, five interceptions, nine touchdowns and three blocked punts. He helped lead Ozark to the state semifinals and an 8-5 record.
Being recruited to ASU in 2008 and redshirting his first season, Herrold participated on the scout team and in due time, Herrold would make his debut in the 2009 campaign playing in every game, but would end the year with an injury.
Like anything in life, injuries and athletics are intertwined, and this wasn’t something that was going to keep him from preforming and improving as a player. Herrold would start in nine games in 2010, posting 78 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. In the 2010 campaign Herrold was ranked 13th in the SBC in tackles averaging 6.5 stops per game.
In 2011, the season to remember would be a turning point for the ASU football team. Herrold helped the Red Wolves to a Sun Belt Conference championship. ASU became the third school in SBC history to finish undefeated in the league playing with a perfect 8-0 season. The 2011 campaign ,with a 10-2 overall record, marked ASU’s first 10-win season since 1986.
Herrold was the third leading tackler on the ASU defense and ranked No. 2 in the Sun Belt in total defense and scoring defense.
ASU’s perfect season under former head coach Hugh Freeze would give Herrold and his teammates Bowl eligibility. The opportunity presented itself for Herrold when ASU accepted its invitation to the GoDaddy.com bowl.
The outcome of the bowl game was not ideal, but it has given Herrold the drive and determination to complete his senior year winning another Sun Belt championship. “In order for us to achieve that goal as Sun Belt champs it is all about preparation,” Herrold said.
Thompson described Herrold as someone who is focused, and not a “raw-raw guy.” “Nate is a guy that is succeeding because he is doing what is right, and he has so much talent to back that up. He is a true professional and a winner,” Thompson said.
Five games are left in the season, and Herrold along with the rest of the Red Wolves have every opportunity to rise up and take the title for the second consecutive year. ASU will take on Louisiana-Lafayette Tuesday, Oct. 23.