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'Mellow Tello:' ASU's new offensive tackle

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The newest member of perhaps the most doubted unit in the Pac-10 didn't seem terribly anxious after his first practice Monday.

Adam Tello, Arizona State's newly promoted right tackle, fielded question like he'd been conducting interviews for years. His apparent stress level over joining a line that's rebuilding after surrendering 55 sacks a year ago registered somewhere just north of the quandary over choosing pizza or Chinese food.

"I'm not nervous," he said. "It's pretty cool."

Tello, a redshirt freshman, learned of his official promotion during a position meeting just hours before, when offensive line coach Gregg Smith told him that, because junior Richard Tuitu'u had quit, Tello was now running with the first team.

Said Tello: "I'm ready to step up. I wanted this opportunity."

Tello, the pride of Norco, Calif., is listed at just 283 pounds but he said he presently tips the scales at 292, so he weighs as much as, say, top-ranked Georgia's twin sophomore offensive tackles, who will be in Tempe on Sept. 20 for a much-anticipated showdown.

There's also some question about Tello's height. He's listed at 6-foot-2, but coach Dennis Erickson and others insisted he's closer to 6-foot-4.

We'll split the difference and call him 6-foot-3. Still, he looks more like a guard than a tackle, who typically are in the 6-foot-5 range because long arms help hold off pass rushers exploding from the outside.

But Tello said coaches moved him from guard because of his athleticism. What he lacks in long arms, he makes up for with in quick feet.

Tello and the rest of the Sun Devils' line expect a new spread, quick-hitting passing game to make their lives easier. It also includes simpler blocking assignments.

"It's a lot easier," Tello said. "It seems like it's already more effective."