Tape It Up: Arizona State: Hopeful Herring

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Arizona State: Hopeful Herring

Arizona State running back Keegan Herring is one of just 16 Sun Devil running backs with more than 2,000 career rushing yards to his name, and he hopes he will be able to add to that total in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27. But as of right now, Herring is more hopeful than hungry, as the junior is still not practicing as he nurses an injury to his left ankle he sustained on Dec. 1 against Arizona.

Herring felt about 65 percent healthy at week's end and while he has never missed a college game, he has yet to practice for the rapidly approaching bowl game against Texas.

"As a football player, that's the toughest thing about being injured - seeing your football family do a lot of work and seeing yourself not really doing anything," Herring said. "People saying i shouldn't play, people saying I should play - I'll just have to go out there and see."

If Arizona State can put Herring in the game, practiced or not, they will do so - he has 2,235 career rushing yards, which makes him 10th on the Sun Devils all-time list, even though he is not a full-time starter and still has a full season in front of him.

The Sun Devils' rushing game could certainly use a healthy - or at least able - dose of Herring, as their tailback corps has been depleted since Ryan Torain suffered a season-ending injury on Oct. 13. Herring led the team in rushing this season, collecting 816 yards with five touchdowns in 12 games, despite only six starts.

If Herring can't go, Jerell Woods may get some playing time - and the opportunity for his first-ever carry as a Sun Devil. Preston Jones is another back likely to see some time in the rotation, while Dimitri Nance should get the start in Herring's absence. A native of Euless, Texas, Nance will certainly have the geographical motivation necessary to put together a stellar game against the Longhorns.

Head coach Dennis Erickson said he expects Herring to be practicing on Sunday, when the team begins its preparations in San Diego. Herring, in the meantime, is looking to a higher authority to make sure that happens.

"I think that's going to be my Christmas present from the angels up top, let me be ready for game day," Herring said.

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