ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Paul Tyson settling in at Arizona State amid Sun Devils’ 5-way QB battle

Apr 2, 2022, 11:00 AM
Paul Tyson #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws the ball during the third quarter in the game aga...
Paul Tyson #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws the ball during the third quarter in the game against the New Mexico State Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

TEMPE — Arizona State is in the midst of a five-way quarterback battle after the Sun Devils completed their 10th spring football practice on Friday.

With Jayden Daniels’ departure from the program via the transfer portal after being the signal caller for the last three seasons under head coach Herm Edwards, these five QBs will be vying for the job: redshirt junior Paul Tyson, redshirt sophomore Daylin McLemore, redshirt junior Trenton Bourguet, redshirt freshman Finn Collins and true freshman Bennett Meredith.

Tyson, who transferred from Alabama to Arizona State in January and is the great-grandson of legendary Crimson Tide coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, looks to be leading the competition three weeks into spring ball.

“It’s fantastic honestly. It keeps the competition going,” Tyson said Friday of having an open five-way QB battle. “Everyone is pushing each other because we all at the end of the day want the best player to play and we want to go win a Pac-12 championship. We’re all pushing each other and it’s honestly a great experience to be out there will all (four) guys with such great spirits, so it’s been really good.”

The former Alabama QB spent his final year with the Crimson Tide under offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien. And with ASU replacing Zak Hill with Glenn Thomas in January, Tyson will be instructed by his third OC/QBs coach in as many years (Steve Sarkisian in 2020).

“With Coach O’Brien, he’s a similar pro-style offensive coordinator along with Coach Thomas, so it has a lot of similarities and ball is ball,” Tyson said. “Once you get out there, you just go through your reads, identify the defense — stuff like that. Once you get involved and get out there playing on the field, it’s all second nature.”

Of the five quarterbacks battling for the Sun Devils’ starting spot, Tyson is the most experienced having thrown for 150 yards on 10-of-16 passing (62.5%) last season. He also served as the backup to Bryce Young, who won the 2021 Heisman Trophy.

With three years of experience under head coach Nick Saban and two trips to the National Championship Game — including one College Football Playoff title — Tyson understands the importance of having veteran leadership under center.

“I think that’s a huge, huge deal at quarterback especially. I think that leadership is something that we can’t take lightly,” he said. “I believe a lot of it is earned on the field, actually.

“I think that’s when you get your respect and you build your relationships with your players where they trust you. When you can reach that point, that’s when you can really make a difference and be the leader that you want to be. Obviously that can be a slow process, but that’s when you want to start it early in spring.”

The Alabama native is also settling into the Valley well, including finding a new favorite go-to spot to eat in Chuckbox.

Penguin Air

Arizona State Football

Statue of the late Arizona State linebacker Pat Tillman at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. (Jerem...
Austin Scott

NFL selects honorary captains to commemorate Pat Tillman at Super Bowl LVII

With Super Bowl LVII coming to Glendale on Feb. 12, four honorary captains will commemorate Valley legend Pat Tillman at the coin toss.
2 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Chad Johnson Jr. (17) looks on before the college football g...
Haboob Blog

Kenny Dillingham lends life hack after Chad Johnson Jr. gets parking ticket

Receiver Chad Johnson Jr. tweeted on Monday that he got tagged with two boots on his car parked on Arizona State's campus.
7 days ago
(Screenshot via Jake Vanderbroek/Twitter)...
Associated Press

Report: 5-star QB Jaden Rashada visiting ASU football after Florida release

Five-star quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada is unofficially visiting the Arizona State campus on Friday, per a report.
11 days ago
Arizona Cardinals running back D.J. Foster reaches out to make a catch during drills at the team's ...
Austin Scott

ASU alumnus, former Cardinals RB D.J. Foster joins Sun Devils’ support staff

Former NFL tailback D.J. Foster is adding to his Valley football legacy as he will be joining first-year head coach Kenny Dillingham's staff.
12 days ago
Running back Jaden Knowles #25 of the Oklahoma Sooners breaks through the tackle of outside linebac...
Jake Anderson

5-star Oklahoma EDGE Clayton Smith transfers to Arizona State

EDGE Clayton Smith was a five-star recruit by Rivals, making him the highest-ranked player to transfer to Arizona State via the portal.
12 days ago
Arizona State's new football head coach Kenny Dillingham his son and wife Briana, right, attend the...
Arizona Sports

2023 ASU football schedule includes home-game heavy start

The Arizona State Sun Devils will begin the Kenny Dillingham era with a favorable schedule of four home games in a row.
13 days ago
Paul Tyson settling in at Arizona State amid Sun Devils’ 5-way QB battle