Herm Edwards to announce Arizona State Sun Devils starting QB ‘shortly’
TEMPE — The Arizona State Sun Devils’ quarterback battle will be coming to an end soon.
With returning redshirt junior Trenton Bourguet falling down in the pecking order, the competition looks to be a two-horse race between Alabama transfer Paul Tyson and Florida transfer Emory Jones, the latter of whom was the only one of the team’s six QBs not in Tempe during spring ball.
However, head coach Herm Edwards is playing it close to the vest when it comes to officially naming which QB will be under center when ASU hosts Northern Arizona in Week 1 on Sept. 1 at Sun Devil Stadium.
“We’ll probably make an announcement here shortly. I got an idea,” Edwards said after practice on Monday. “I don’t want the opponent to know. Make them study for all four of those guys.”
Jones may only have a little over a week of practice under his belt, but the dual-threat QB has seen the majority of first-team snaps and undoubtedly has the best arm on the team.
The 6-foot-2, 211-pound signal caller has thrown for 3,347 yards on a 65% completion percentage (279 of 432 pass attempts) to go along with 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 37 games played. Compare that to Tyson (16) and Bourguet (12), who have attempted a combined total of 28 passes in their college careers.
Jones’ mobility will also aid an Arizona State offensive line that only has two returning players: left guard LaDarius Henderson is back at that same spot, while last year’s right tackle Ben Scott is moving over to center. The dual-threat quarterback has rushed for 1,272 yards and 10 touchdowns in 235 career attempts (5.4 per carry).
When it comes to which wide receivers are already building a rapport with Jones on the field, the quarterback named Chad Johnson Jr., Elijhah Badger, Giovanni Sanders, Cam Johnson and Charles Hall IV — with Jones saying “the hardest challenge is just distributing it to everybody.”
“A lot of them stand out,” he said after practice on Monday. “Andre Johnson — he’s a big, fast guy that I like to throw the ball up to a lot. … We got a lot of different guys that are getting in and getting a lot of different opportunities and getting put in a lot positions to be successful. So they’ve all been looking pretty good.”
Jones added that the next step for the Sun Devils’ offense is to have everybody on the same page and working together well after the first week of practice felt like everybody was only locking in on themselves.
“Just locking in and focusing and everybody doing their jobs, that’s it,” he explained. “I have to make sure I do my job, make sure I take the right drops.
“They have to make sure they get the depth on some of their routes. Mainly it comes down to everybody locking in and focusing and doing their job.”