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