Sun Devils looking forward to roughing it at Tontozona

Arizona State's five-day trip back in time to Camp Tontozona began with a 90-mile bus trip Tuesday afternoon.

It's Todd Graham fourth journey to the rustic charms of the Mogollon Rim, and he's completely sold on its importance to the Sun Devils program.

"Camp T's all about galvanizing our program, developing that brotherhood that it takes to be successful, honoring the past through the time we spend there," Graham said following a Tuesday morning practice in Tempe that was cut short by stormy weather.

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"There's no headsets, there's no Ipods, no Ipads, there's no cellphones, no TV; it's just spending time together as a team, getting to know each other," Graham said.

"It's a special deal. And it's one of the most incredible traditions. My favorite event is Scrimmage Camp T (on Saturday). That setting ,with all those thousands and thousands of fans who probably have to walk I don't know how many miles to get back in there to that little holler, is really, really cool."

While Graham has no issues with the technological limitations at Tontozona, he does sympathize with some of the issues the players are up against in roughing it for five days.

"It's a really neat experience, it's a rite of passage to being a Sun Devil, and I'd love to see us invest in making it a little bit nicer, especially for our players, just the accommodations and stuff like that," he said. "Hopefully we'll do that, but no matter what, I think it's a necessity to be a Sun Devil because it's paying homage to the past. But it's also vital in today's world, just to get kids to all focus on one mission."

Graham's gospel seems to have made the proper impression on his team, to listen to defensive back Marcus Ball and receiver Ellis Jefferson.

"Just there with 100 brothers, bonding, that's really where we galvanize our team," Ball said. "We go up there and it's nothing but football.

"The best thing that happened to me was really getting to know the family that I stepped into."

Jefferson said he's even grown to appreciate the remote conditions.

"It's crazy, there's nothing out there; it's the woods, the coaches and players, so the bortherhood's always there.

"I don't think there's a hard part. I love being out there, I love seeing the stars. It reminds me of being back home in Texas. The stars are amazing out there. There's no city lights, no nothing; I just love it."