The offseason couldn’t have gone worse for the Arizona State football team, especially with the loss of Jayden Daniels at quarterback to the portal. But there is still time to fix it.
Few college football teams have had a more difficult offseason than the Arizona State Sun Devils. The coaching staff is under investigation and has seen numerous coaches leave the program due to fallout from recruiting violations.
Herm Edwards has managed to avoid getting fired but Arizona State football is still under investigation and there according to 247 sports’ Sun Devil Source there is evidence that Edwards at least knew of the wrongdoing.
“Edwards himself participated in meetings with recruits on ASU’s campus and at off-campus locations including at a rented home in Paradise Valley that was secured specifically for the purposes of recruiting, during a 14-month period when it was not permitted due to the pandemic, three people with direct knowledge of the encounters told Sun Devil Source.”
Despite this, the university has stood by the head coach, but all that ugliness hasn’t been the bad thing happening to Arizona State football this offseason. The other has been the damage done to the quarterback position.
Recently, former top-100 QB recruit Jayden Daniels transferred to LSU. He struggled last season and threw 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions but he’s still a big-time talent. He’s also got more than 1,200 yards rushing and 32 career touchdown passes.
It’s not surprising then that Arizona State wanted him back. Things were unclear though and, according to Chris Karpman of 247 sports Daniels’ decision to return is why Arizona State didn’t go after Rattler:
“They were watching film of Spencer Rattler, including Herm Edwards and Antonio Pierce, when Jayden Daniels actually walked in on them doing so and that conversation took place about whether Daniels would come back. Rattler had been communicating with multiple members of ASU’s staff and also even with Jayden Daniels directly to try to ascertain whether Daniels would be back. He had told people both on ASU’s staff and also close to him that ASU would be his preferred destination, should Daniels decide that he wouldn’t be back.”
Losing former five-star quarterback Spencer Rattler because of Daniels is another gut punch for ASU, especially because Arizona State is so close to home.
How Arizona State can still fix it
Deciding not to pursue Rattler was a mistake, especially given what we know now. It’s hard to judge Arizona State though and the Sun Devils did add a former four-star recruit at QB from the transfer portal in Alabama’s Paul Tyson.
A quarterback battle will ensue between Tyson and Trenton Bourguet who attempted just seven passes last season.
If that sounds less than appealing to you, Arizona State football fans, it’s hard to blame you. So what the Sun Devils need to do is continue to mine the transfer portal and wait.
Soon after spring ball, there will be some quarterbacks that enter the portal. They will see the writing on the wall in terms of losing quarterback competitions at other schools and that will lead to more options.
There might not be a star but at the very least, ASU needs to add an arm with experience and production.
Otherwise, Arizona State will have to rely on what it has. That could work out, but competition is always best and experience, at the quarterback position, is also important too.