The Arizona State Sun Devils football program is facing the most uncertain quarterback it has seen in quite some time. The Sun Devils have been blessed with guys like Taylor Kelly, Mike Bercovici, Manny Wilkins, and more recently Jayden Daniels over the past decade. That kind of consistency and reliability at quarterback is as rare as it gets in college football.
That familiarity has all but disappeared as the team heads into the 2022 season with four quarterbacks vying for the starting role.
About six months ago, Arizona State watched the aforementioned Daniels, who started each of the program’s last three seasons, enter the NCAA transfer portal and ultimately commit to LSU. At the time, the starting gig was entirely up for grabs, with redshirt junior Trenton Bourguet having the most experience on the roster. He was joined by redshirt junior Daylin McLemore as the Sun Devils’ most tenured quarterback at the time.
Former four-star quarterback Paul Tyson announced he was transferring from Alabama to come to Tempe and compete for a starting role in 2023. This was before Daniels’ transfer, which ultimately led him , Bourguet and McLemore headlining the competition for the starting quarterback. concert.
During spring training, head coach Herm Edwards said, “Is the quarterback here? … if not, there’s always a plan B (the transfer portal).” Edwards must not have been too impressed with the quarterbacks the Sun Devils fielded in March, as the program ended up bringing in former Florida quarterback Emory Jones to also compete for the starting job.
Scroll to continue
Jones, who started a season for Florida last season, has a very similar skill set to what Daniels brought to the team. That kind of familiarity with the offense was likely a big factor in his decision to come to Arizona State and could give him a leg up on the competition for the starting role.
With Jones on the roster now, it’s become a four-legged race to be the Week 1 starter. Although no one has been named the starter at this point, it seems almost guaranteed that Jones will get the green light for the start of the season, at least. Jones has the most starting experience of any quarterback on the roster and would allow the Sun Devils to run an offense similar to what they’ve grown accustomed to in recent seasons. For this reason, it makes perfect sense for Jones to start.
However, it is far from certain that Jones will remain the starter for the entire season. Jones has been benched on more than one occasion for the Gators in favor of Anthony Richardson due to poor play, so it would make sense for Edwards and Co. to maintain a leash for Jones if he finds himself at again in trouble.
Naturally, Arizona State is hoping whoever is the team’s starting quarterback can hold onto that spot all season, but the Sun Devils will have options to rotate in should they struggle.
Overall, the Sun Devils quarterback battle has been and will continue to be the most intriguing story of training camp. Expect an announcement fairly soon as to who will be the starting quarterback for Week 1 against Northern Arizona.