ASU’s Kenny Dillingham sets latest date to name starting QB for Week 1

Aug 16, 2023, 1:17 PM

Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada. (Instagram Photo/@jadenrashada)...

Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada. (Instagram Photo/@jadenrashada)

(Instagram Photo/@jadenrashada)

Arizona State head coach Kenny Dillingham said his decision on a starting quarterback would be made at least one week before the Sun Devils’ opening kickoff against Southern Utah on Aug. 31.

That deadline would be on Thursday, Aug. 24.

“It’s possible we can make a decision sooner than that but highly unlikely. More than likely there would have to be a dramatic something that shows up,” Dillingham told the media after Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Dillingham had high praise for freshman Jaden Rashada’s performance in the practice. The newcomer seems to be in the thick of the competition along with incumbent Trenton Bourguet after transfer Drew Pyne suffered an injury during the team’s trip to Camp Tontozona in Payson.

“He forced the ball down the field and we hit big plays,” Dillingham said about Rashada.

“I think we hit three big plays over 40 yards today on offense and we only had five series with the 1s and that group had three or four. That’s winning football in this league.”

While Rashada brings an element of excitement to the offense, Bourguet brings stability after completing 71.1% of his passes on 204 attempts through five games last season.

Volatility or stability is a question that Dillingham and the staff will have to wrestle with after going through training camp tape.

“Are his [Rashada’s] positives and explosives, do they outweigh the moments you’re going to have as a young quarterback and can us as a staff control those young moments enough to where we can showcase his talents, which is you saw him throwing the ball 50, 60 yards down the field? Those plays are obviously different when he’s in the game,” Dillingham said.

Overall, Dillingham was pleased with the offensive progress throughout the scrimmage. He said wide receiver Elijhah Badger had two long catches on the day.

“I thought that was the progress with the offense was the explosive plays,” he said.

With a deadline in place for a decision on quarterback, Sun Devil nation will have to patiently wait to see who takes the reins under center in 2023.

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