The competition is open for Arizona State’s next starting quarterback

A year ago, Trenton Bourguet would not have predicted the position he finds himself in now.

Studying under perennial starter Jayden Daniels and working under the vision of offensive coordinator Zak Hill for Arizona State football, Bourguet’s last three years were built on each season.

But then a ripple came into the quarterback room. Hill resigned from his post at the end of January, before being replaced by former UNLV coordinator Glenn Thomas. And another massive change came when Daniels transferred to LSU in early March.

The novelty follows the quarters room with Bourguet, a junior in a red shirt, as the oldest member. Daniels leaves behind 29 games with 1,288 rushing yards and 6,025 passing yards.

ASU quarterback Trenton Bourquet, 16, passes the ball during spring football practice at Kajikawa Training Center in Tempe on February 27, 2020.

For the first time since Daniels arrived, ASU has a quarterback battle. When spring began, five were in contention – Bourguet, as well as Alabama transfer Paul Tyson, redshirt sophomore Daylin McLemore, redshirt freshman Finn Collins, freshman Oliver Towns and freshman Bennett Meredith year.

Five different players competing for a position is tough for everyone to impress, and the answer initially might even be somewhere else right now. The transfer portal could lend another arm to ASU in the future. Throughout the process, Thomas advised the group to do as much as possible with limited exposure.

“When you’re in there, you have to make the most of it. You can tell pretty quickly who has it and who knows it, who is studying and who is on top of the playbook. When they are in there, they already have convictions and a certain confidence in what is happening. These guys are starting to break up sooner rather than later. At the end of the day, your reps are limited, so when you’re there, you have to max them out,” Thomas said.

Continued:Arizona State continues work on offense led by new coordinator Glenn Thomas

Bourguet is the only one of the group to take snaps in a game for ASU after making appearances under center in three games. The Marana native had one touchdown on three completions and 47 yards against Washington State in 2021.

Even with what appears to be an advantage in the arms race, Bourguet does not take his position for granted and focuses on himself.

“Personally, I just try to be the best quarterback I can be. Don’t worry about other quarterbacks in the room and try to improve every day. If I make a mistake one day, I will try not to do it again,” Bourguet said. “We push each other to be the best quarterback and obviously we all want to win. In this position, there is only one guy on the pitch, so we try to push each other and improve. At the end of the day, the best guy will play.

The collectivist approach is shared within the group where team titles are more important than who takes the job.

Paul Tyson (QB) during ASU Spring Football Training, March 15, 2022, at Kajikawa Training Grounds, Tempe, Arizona.

“Everyone pushes each other and at the end of the day we all want the best player to play and we all want to win a Pac-12 championship. We want to push each other and it’s a great experience to to be out there with the five guys,” Tyson said.

Bourguet and Tyson have taken on leadership roles as the two people with the most college experience. McLemore is in his third year at ASU, while Collins is entering his second year. Meredith, the youngest of the gang, has just left high school.

Meredith and Tyson, both from Alabama, immediately bonded over their shared roots. Tyson’s alma mater, Hewitt-Trussville High School, is Meredith’s Hoover High’s rival school. The two schools were separated by 32.3 miles.

For Meredith, a true freshman who enrolled early this spring, the rivalry is still fresh in her mind.

“It’s a bit crazy. Our schools in high school were both rivals and I joke with him that we beat him twice this year. We went to their house and beat them, then beat them at home. I joke with him, but it’s cool to have another guy from Birmingham. He grew up where I grew up and we kind of have similar personalities. It’s pretty cool to have someone from the same place,” Meredith said.

Leading a younger group is not unusual for Bourguet.

“I’m the eldest of six children in my family, so I’ve always had that leadership role. Ever since Jayden came into the portal, I’ve sort of taken on that role to make sure everyone’s on the same page. It stinks to see him go, I only hope the best for him, but ASU is still a special place. We have a lot of special coaches and players here. I think if we all stick together we could be something special,” Bourguet said.

All five were on equal footing when it came to learning Thomas’ new verbiage. The first practices were difficult for the group and additional meetings were used to establish chemistry. Now, with 10 practices completed, Bourguet says the process has been smoother and fewer penalties have been issued.

“They were all super eager to learn. They’re all there early to set up an extra meeting and try to max out those reps. I was super excited about it, and they were all humble and super easy to train,” Thomas said.

Remarks

  • ASU football will host its annual spring game on Saturday, April 9 at Sun Devil Stadium. Activities are scheduled for 5:30 p.m., followed by the game at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Selected football student-athletes will be available for the post-practice autograph session.
  • Friday’s practice marked the 10th of 15 practices for the spring season. Saturday’s practice will take place at Sun Devil Stadium.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602-647-4122. Follow her on Twitter @jennarortiz.

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