Arizona Republic columnist Greg Moore examines the likelihood of ASU losing its coach and quarterback before the 2022 season.
Has Jayden Daniels abandoned Herm Edwards? Or was it Jayden’s mother, Regina Jackson, who made the decision to open the transfer recruiting process for Arizona State’s star quarterback?
And should this be the final blow that derails the Edwards train?
Whatever you think, you are entitled to it. But the guess here is Coach Herm and Jayden Daniels aren’t going anywhere, and the Sun Devils could be a surprise contender in the Pac-12 South.
Believe me, it’s going to be a tough climb, but Edwards and the ASU football program could be about to prove everyone wrong – again.
Edwards, Daniels share a bond
The news that Daniels announced his intention to transfer hit the sports media like runaway freight.
Daniels was Edwards’ star student for three years. They were exceptionally close. Coach Herm acted like a wise uncle, guiding his talented but developing nephew.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Edwards’ soothing advice helped Daniels become as clutch as a manual transmission.
Daniels has comeback wins, road wins and upset wins. He wins with his legs. He wins with his arm. And he stays cool no matter the situation.
There’s no part of me that even believes for a moment that Daniels is looking for a new opportunity because he’s mad at Edwards.
It’s more likely that Edwards and athletic director Ray Anderson decided to restrict or even banish Regina Jackson. His name has been linked to the alleged recruiting plan that has the NCAA investigating the program.
Continued: ASU President Michael Crow explains why Herm Edwards is still the Sun Devils football coach
Edwards didn’t address the situation directly in a recent interview on the “Bickley and Marotta Show” on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, but he did mention “trust.”
“When you delegate responsibilities, you have to trust people,” Edwards said.
“People in the circle”, he later said, “you have to trust each other to do their job.”
The people Edwards and Anderson probably couldn’t trust because they were too closely tied to alleged violations in the COVID-19 recruiting scandal are gone: Antonio Pierce, Zak Hill, Prentice Gill, Adam Breneman and Chris Hawkins.
Jackson was accused of booking trips for recruits, although she denied wrongdoing. But that could be enough to put her out of the roundhouse if ASU tries to run for potential NCAA sanctions.
And if she’s away, it stands to reason Daniels would choose to be loyal to his mother and look for a program that could give him free rein to train and call the coaches with concerns about how Jayden is being handled, even if he meant he had to leave his avuncular head coach.
It’s not over, by the way.
Believe me – Daniels could return to the program.
Continued: ASU football can still achieve great aspirations under Herm Edwards, says Ray Anderson
The good drivers of yesterday and today
There’s unlikely to be a better fit for Daniels than ASU anywhere else in big-picture college football.
Maybe new Miami coach Mario Cristobal remembers how Jayden Daniels ruined Oregon’s 2019 college football playoff hopes and wants to bring the reigning ACC rookie from the year to Tyler Van Dyke? But I doubt it.
Maybe Daniels is ready to sit in the caboose for a year at UCLA where coach Chip Kelly and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson have an established relationship? I doubt it too.
Continued: Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards addresses NCAA investigation, ‘trust’
But assuming there’s a situation with better wide receivers or a more experienced offensive line or a more accommodating head coach, maybe Daniels will look his mother in the eye — lovingly, but frankly — and say: “I love you, but I want to stay in Tempe, where all my friends are and everyone loves me.
And maybe she will hear him and support him.
And then ASU will have a chance to silence all the loudmouths clamoring for Coach Herm’s job.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Edwards and Daniels have ignored criticism and speculation from people who want them out – for some reason, I don’t understand why a certain segment of sports media and the fan base of the Sun Devils might not like these guys – and set ASU on the right track.
Do you remember 2019? Long before the not-so-new coronavirus? When ASU beat three top-20 teams, including two on the road, then beat Florida State in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl?
Herm and Jayden looked like the good drivers then.
The guess here is that they are good drivers now.
Continued: Arizona State football’s Herm Edwards slammed for ‘trust’ comments and lack of accountability