ESPN’s Connelly: ASU’s Soelle, Arizona’s Cowing players to watch in 2022
The 2021 college football season was not kind to the Arizona State Sun Devils (8-5) and Arizona Wildcats (1-11) after both teams fell short of program expectations.
Despite the mass exodus of players for the Sun Devils, ESPN gives ASU a 98% chance to make a bowl in 2022 and predicts them to finish third in the Pac-12 South with UCLA practically in a deadlock for second place.
ESPN also gives the Wildcats an 8% chance of making a bowl game and projects them to finish fifth in the division behind USC.
ESPN’s Bill Connelly says that although the Arizona schools have a lot of questions to answer in the 2022 season, there are players to watch out for on both squads.
LB Kyle Soelle, Arizona State.
He made a tackle on 13% of his snaps, generated pressure on 20% of his pass-rush attempts, made 11 run stops at or behind the line and allowed a 17.4 QBR in coverage. He’s absolutely dynamite, and ASU might need him to be even better this year.
Soelle recorded 88 tackles in 13 games as a captain of the defense in 2021. The Arizona native added eight tackles for loss, one sack and one interception last season.
Defensively, the team lost DTs D.J. Davidson and Jermayne Lole, LBs Eric Gentry and Darien Butler as well as CBs Jack Jones and Chase Lucas to either the transfer portal or NFL Draft.
Soelle will be asked to not only carry a bigger mantle in his fifth year on the field but off the field as a captain as well. He has gone 4-0 in his career against the Wildcats.
Connelly mentions the loss of almost every X-factor on offense being a major issue for the Sun Devils next season.
Quarterback Jayden Daniels, RBs Rachaad White and DeaMonte Trayanum, LG Dohnovan West, LT Kellen Diesch and WRs Ricky Pearsall and LV Bunkley-Shelton have all left the Sun Devils for a new program or the NFL.
WR Jacob Cowing, Arizona.
In a play-action heavy UTEP attack, the senior from Maricopa, Arizona, needed only 69 receptions to gain 1,354 yards and score seven times. He immediately becomes one of the most dangerous slot receivers in the Pac-12.
Cowing was a highly touted wideout in the transfer portal. He played three seasons at UTEP, recording 141 catches for 2,595 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also added 75 yards rushing and one touchdown in just four attempts.
In his last season at UTEP, Cowing’s 1,354 receiving yards ranked ninth in all of college football.
He will have Washington State transfer quarterback Jayden de Laura throwing him the football. Cowing joins freshman WR Tetairoa McMillan, the No. 5 wideout in the 2022 recruiting class, according to 247Sports.com.