ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

QB Trenton Bourguet shines in Arizona State’s spring football game

Apr 15, 2023, 5:53 PM

TEMPE — Arizona State played its first spring football game in the Kenny Dillingham era at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday following the conclusion of the 19th annual Pat’s Run.

The turnout from the crowd wasn’t quite what the new head coach was looking for, and he pleaded with ASU fans after the game as he continues to try and “activate the valley.”

“I thought Pat’s Run was incredible,” he said. “I was expecting more (fans) to be honest, kind of disappointed. We say we want to be a football town, right? And it was a good crowd, but it’s not what a football town should be.”

The game itself consisted of four seven-minute quarters, which ended in a 23-15 victory for Team Maroon, while special teams units weren’t considered part of either squad.

Incumbent starting quarterback Trenton Bourguet led Team Maroon along with QBs Ben Meredith and Jacob Conover, but it was Bourguet who shined on his first drive, peppering running back Cameron Skattebo before hitting wide receiver Elijhah Badger for the game’s first touchdown.

Team Gold responded via a 58-yard touchdown pass from Drew Pyne to tight end Jalin Conyers.

“We’re going to have a top-five offense in the country,” wide receiver Xavier Guillory said. “It’s just inevitable with coach Dillingham, (offensive coordinator) Beau Baldwin — they’re professionals at this and got Ph. D.’s in dicing up defenses.

“So we’re going to put up points, put up numbers. We’ve got the players to do that. So it’s no surprise to me that we came out here and executed again. It’s just doing your job, doing your part and coach will take care of the rest.”

Meanwhile, five-star true freshman quarterback Jaden Rashada didn’t have his best performance for Team Gold. The early enrollee wasn’t as sharp and crisp on his passing as he has been most of spring practice, and Rashada isn’t letting one bad day get his confidence down on an otherwise productive six weeks.

“My individual performance today wasn’t what I wanted,” Rashada said. “That doesn’t take away how much I did over the last 15 practices and stuff like that.

“But I’m having fun and that’s what it’s about: just getting better, growing as a person, growing as an athlete and you can’t complain about that and definitely can’t let a couple minutes ruin how much I developed over spring.”

ACTIVATE THE VALLEY

Scottsdale Desert Mountain High School wide receiver Dylan Tapley announced his commitment to Arizona State on Saturday.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound wideout is one of the best in the state and Arizona’s No. 11 overall prospect for 2024, marking the highest in-state prospect to verbally commit to ASU since before the Herm Edwards era.

Tapley also joins OL Isaia Glass as the only other top-15 prospect from Arizona to commit in the last three classes.

“I want to be the first one to change the in-state pipeline,” Tapley told SunDevilSource. “Being the first commit in coach Dillingham’s first full recruiting class in his ASU era, I want this to start a domino effect with all the top Arizona recruits.”

TRANSFER PORTAL

With the transfer portal re-opening from April 15-30, the Arizona State coaching staff will once again hit the recruiting trail in order to improve the roster at positions of need such as offensive line and linebacker.

“We’re going to have player exit interviews Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday — coaches exit interviews on Wednesday as well,” Dillingham said “And then the coaches will hit the road and … I’ll start the next stage, get schedules ready and do some events and stuff like that.

“Our guys got one more week then they go home for about three weeks. Then they’ll get back ready to roll. … We’re going to try to improve our roster to win football games.”

Conversely, there’s always the possibility of current ASU players putting their names in the portal, especially with position battles at wide receiver, running back and quarterback that feature four to six guys competing for playing time. Or in Javen Jacobs’ case in which the sophomore has been converted from a wideout to a tailback in order to create mismatches with linebackers.

“(Skattebo) brings a lot of that competition we need in that room with DeCarlos (Brooks) and Tevin White and George (Hart) and now Javen we put in the room,” running backs coach Shaun Aguano said. “Just upping that competition, I think it’s going to be good come fall.”

Aguano added that he wanted to see how Jacobs dealt with getting hit every play in the backfield and said that the Scottsdale Saguaro product “handled it great.”

“He’s such a threat out of the backfield, too,” Aguano said. “And then if he does go into the slot, you’re going to have to match him up with a linebacker and so we’re looking at a couple of packages, but he’s done a good job filling in this spring.”

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QB Trenton Bourguet shines in Arizona State’s spring football game