TEMPE — The Arizona State Sun Devils kick off their first practice of the 2022 season on Wednesday.
And with a total of 43 new players on ASU’s roster this year, the offensive side of the football has a few position battles — none more important than at quarterback.
Head coach Herm Edwards said during coaches’ media day on Monday that there will be a competition between the six QBs for who will be the starting signal caller.
Who that will be exactly will most likely come down to redshirt junior Paul Tyson or redshirt junior Emory Jones, with redshirt junior Trenton Bourguet likely serving as third string when the dust settles.
“That’s what we all signed up for,” Jones said of the QB competition at newcomers’ media day on Tuesday. “That’s what I enjoy. So I’m ready for (Wednesday), ready to get going just so we can start competing.”
Bourguet is also the only returning player out of the trio, as Tyson and Jones both transferred to Tempe this offseason from Alabama and Florida, respectively.
“It was one of the schools that I felt needed another guy, another leader to come in and kind of just help the team and improve,” Jones added.
“I feel like it was a great place for me. Coach contacted me probably like a week after I got in the portal. He basically just told me that he thought this team needed another guy in the offensive room, in the quarterback room and just a leader for the whole team. So it was a great fit for me and that’s all I wanted.”
Tyson, who is the great-grandson of legendary Crimson Tide head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, sat behind the likes of Jalen Hurts, Tua Toagovailoa and Mac Jones — all of whom are now starting NFL quarterbacks — as well as reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young during his three years in the SEC.
“I think anywhere you go, you’re never going to be handed a job,” Tyson said. “And I think with six quarterbacks that honestly just makes it that much more upon you knowing that everyone has an opportunity. But I’d say being in Alabama, it kind of taught me those lessons. … So I’ve always had competition in the air for sure.
“Nothing’s ever given to anyone. So I think coming really anywhere, but especially coming here, I knew I was never going to shy away from competition. That’s not my personality, I actually feel like I thrive in it and play better when that’s the scenario.”
From an experience standpoint, Jones has the most reps as a starting quarterback.
In 37 games played in his collegiate career, the 6-foot-2, 211-pound QB has thrown for 3,347 yards on a 65% completion percentage (279 of 432 pass attempts) in addition to a 26-14 TD to INT ratio. Jones has also rushed for 1,272 yards and 10 touchdowns on 235 rush attempts (5.4 per carry).
Compare those metrics to Tyson and Bourguet, who have thrown a grand total of 16 and 12 passing attempts in their entire college careers, respectively.
“They’re all a little bit different, but we know their skill sets for the most part,” Edwards said at coaches’ media day on Monday. “Now most of them were here in the spring. The one guy (Jones) was not.
“But we’ve done enough work, watched enough film, we get it and we know when you don’t have a quarterback, the field is 150 yards long. That’s a long field [if] you don’t have one.”