ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Kenny Dillingham: ASU’s preseason predictions are ‘fair,’ internal expectations differ

Jul 21, 2023, 3:46 PM

The Arizona State Sun Devils are heading into the season with renewed energy and hope with head coach Kenny Dillingham taking over the reins in Tempe.

With Pac-12 Media Day kicking off in Las Vegas on Friday, Dillingham shined the light on where the current ASU team stands despite the Sun Devils being picked to finish 10th in the media poll.

“If enough people feel that way, then I think it is completely fair,” Dillingham said on Friday.

“We are going to go out there and be the best version we can be and be successful. We define success in our program as being the very best at whatever you’re doing. If you are opening a door, you better hold the door until everyone is through it. For us, it is not about where people rank us, it’s about how we can be successful every single day, and then the next day, the next day and the next day. …”

Dillingham has still yet to name a starting quarterback between the trio of Trenton Bourguet, Drew Pyne and Jaden Rashada, potentially weighing down the Sun Devils’ chances in conference play in the eyes of the media.

ASU’s head coach has his own expectations internally but has already attacked the recruiting window with 2024 players as well, boasting the fourth-best recruiting class in the conference for that year, according to 247Sports.

Despite the 3-9 (2-7 in conference) record last season, it has been important for the 33-year-old — the youngest head coach in the FBS — to establish the culture for future success.

Dillingham has reiterated the message of recruiting (and re-recruiting with the transfer portal) players that want to be Sun Devils and be a part of something special, not players who are looking for a big NIL payday.

ASU will trot out its new-look roster on Aug. 31 against Southern Utah and host eight home games this season.

EXTRA POINT

Dillingham has been adjusting to life as a head coach, a position he has never held in the college football ranks.

He mentioned one of the biggest learning curves has been the meetings who do not involve football.

He joked that he will go from a meeting about run game schemes and formations and then head to a meeting on a piece of concrete being added to the practice facility. He’s getting used to it.

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