Carson High graduate Paul Glass came into the Arizona State football program last season as a much heralded junior college transfer from Bakersfield (Calif.) College, expecting to dominate.
But when Glass went up against players of his size and ability, he found out it was going to be tougher than expected. He admitted that he came in with a "big head."
"I didn't know how to deal with it," said Glass when he found out he wasn't going to be as dominant as he expected.
Glass, though, still went on to have solid junior season with the Sun Devils, receiving substantial playing time.
"I think I did all right," Glass said. "I just needed to work on a lot of stuff. I had an all right season last year."
As a senior, Glass again finds himself competing for playing time at defensive tackle with an experienced group. Kurt Wallin (6-2, 270), Tommie Townsend, Danny Masaniai and Glass are four seniors who are all competing for playing time at defensive tackle.
The group is led by Wallin, who started all 12 games last year. Townsend, Masaniai and Glass, who all combine to weigh more than 900 pounds, all figure to receive plenty of playing time. Glass is the biggest of the group (6-6, 335).
"I want to be in from beginning to end, whatever it takes," said Glass, who also said he's working hard to earn a starting spot.
Glass, though, also knows, there's only so much playing time to go around. He said he figures that all the tackles will receive equal playing time.
"That's the way I look at it," he said. "It's going to fluctuate every game."
While his goal is to start, Glass said he won't be that disappointed if doesn't. Besides, the starter may not always finish the game and Glass understands it's who finishes the game that's more important.
Glass said it's a spirited competition for playing time, "but we don't take it past that."
Glass may end up as ASU's run-stopping tackle. "I think I'm being known more as a run-stopper," he said. "But then again, I've got a pretty good pass rush."
The next step for Glass, he hopes, is the NFL. "I'm just going to try to take care of business this year," he said.
"That's my big-time goal right there, to be in the NFL. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't have aspirations to go to the NFL."
ASU is playing under first-year coach Dirk Koetter. "Coach Koetter's the man," Glass said. "He motivates us. Every time he talks he gets us motivated."
The Sun Devils are picked to finish somewhere in the middle of the pack of the Pac 10 by most experts.
"We're not even worried about that," Glass said. "We'll just go out and take care of business and we'll end up on top.
"Half of those guys don't know what they're talking about anyway.
"I think we're going to be a real good team. I think we're more of a team now."