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

UCLA plays Oregon during a Pac-12 NCAA college football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., ...
Arizona Sports

UCLA, USC to leave Pac-12 for Big Ten in 2024

UCLA and USC will be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, beginning in the 2024-25 season, the two schools confirmed on Thursday evening.
1 day ago
Defensive back Jordan Clark #1 of the Arizona State Sun Devils celebrates with the Territorial Cup ...
Nikash Nath

Kyle Soelle, Jordan Clark ready to lead new faces for ASU football

ASU junior CB Jordan Clark and senior captain LB Kyle Soelle are expected to lead a Sun Devils defensive that'll have many new faces in 2022.
7 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman LaDarius Henderson (77) lines up during the college foot...
Nikash Nath

Arizona State OL LaDarius Henderson talks new culture amid low expectations

OL LaDarius Henderson has been with ASU since 2019 and is no stranger to experiencing personnel and cultural changes within the program.
16 days ago
Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts after the loss to the Utah Utes at R...
Kellan Olson

SunDevilSource’s Karpman: Scathing opinion on ASU football unsurprising

A scathing take about ASU football from an anonymous opposing coach became the topic of conversation around the state of the program.
16 days ago
Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Image...
Kevin Zimmerman

Opposing coaches give spicy ASU football takes in Athlon Magazine

Given the cover of anonymity, opposing football coaches are not holding back while assessing the state of the Sun Devils' football program.
18 days ago
College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock sits on stage before a news conference ann...
Nikash Nath

2 Sun Devils, 1 Lumberjack make 2023 College Football Hall of Fame ballot

Two Arizona State Sun Devils and one Northern Arizona Lumberjack have made the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame induction ballot.
25 days ago
Paul Tyson settling in at Arizona State amid Sun Devils’ 5-way QB battle