ASU quarterback competition heats up as Sun Devils enter second week of spring practice

Kenny Dillingham has preached competition at all levels of the ASU football program in his first season – and a QB battle is brewing at spring practice. (Photo by Reece Andrews/Cronkite News)

ASU redshirt freshman quarterback Bennett Meredith, left, and redshirt junior tight end Jalin Conyers hope their chemistry off the field translates to success at spring practice. (Photo by Reece Andrews/Cronkite News)

ASU freshman quarterback Jaden Rashada’s highly-publicized recruitment ended with his decision to join the Sun Devils. (Photo by Reece Andrews/Cronkite News)

TEMPE – The second week of spring practice for Arizona State football looked no different than the first for coach Kenny Dillingham as he continues to emphasize one thing: competition. For the quarterbacks on the roster, they’ll have to soak in that competitive drive daily as they compete for the starting spot.

Out of the six quarterbacks practicing Tuesday, veteran leaders Trenton Bourguet, a redshirt senior returner from last year’s team, and Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne saw the most snaps for the position group, usually being the first ones to take reps at each drill.

For Bourguet, working around depth at the quarterback position has been something he has been familiar with since joining the Sun Devils in 2019, but for the first time in his college career, he is entering spring practice with significant game experience under his belt. A former walk-on out of Tucson’s Marana High School, Bourguet started five games for the 2022 ASU squad, most notably guiding the Sun Devils to a thrilling upset of then-No. 21 Washington in October after replacing starter Emory Jones.

“I was just telling someone the other day, I think there’s been 13 quarterbacks at ASU in the QB room since I’ve been here so for me the competition is nothing new,” Bourguet said. “I think we brought in some solid quarterbacks that are going to push each other and at the end of the day the best man is going to go out there game one.”

Competing for the starting job against a host of talented quarterbacks is nothing new for ASU redshirt senior quarterback Trenton Bourguet. (Photo by Reece Andrews/Cronkite News)

Competing for the starting job against a host of talented quarterbacks is nothing new for ASU redshirt senior quarterback Trenton Bourguet. (Photo by Reece Andrews/Cronkite News)

Pyne, a redshirt sophomore, joined ASU this past offseason after starting in 10 games last year for the Fighting Irish. In 2022, Pyne threw for 2,021 yards with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions with 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Freshman Jaden Rashada, a four-star quarterback according to 247Sports, was one of the last players to go through each drill along with redshirt freshman Max Clark.

While having depth at the position certainly adds another layer to a vastly different offense compared to last year’s team, graduate wide receiver Giovanni Sanders explained the impact he’s felt from the depth at the quarterback position.

“I think there’s a lot more competition,” Sanders said. “With more competition, everyone’s trying to be the best they can be so no matter who you’re going with, everyone is just trying to be on their Ps and Qs.”

The first week of spring practice has given new coach Dillingham insight on the team’s individual skills and he believes that every player is hungry, but he is still cautious about jumping to any conclusions.

“If we hit April 15 and there’s a clear two then there’s a clear two, if there’s a clear three, there’s a clear three, if there’s a clear four, there’s a clear four, if there’s a clear one and it’s not even close, then we’ll name him,” Dillingham said. “We will name a starter and we will narrow the race when it should be narrowed naturally, there’s not a framework, there’s not a plan.”

ASU is set to play its spring game on April 15 at Sun Devil Stadium after the 19th annual Pat’s Run. Dillingham tweeted that he’d like to see 8,000 students and 32,000 fans in attendance for the game that ushers in his era at the helm, and possibly gives a sneak peek at the ASU quarterback for years to come.

Kade Cameron kayd KAM-uh-run (he/him/his)
Sports Reporter, Phoenix

Kade Cameron expects to graduate in May 2023 with a bachelor’s in sports journalism. Cameron has had previous experiences with the Varsity Sports Show, Blaze Radio and Downtown Devil.

Reece Andrews REES AN-drooz (he/him)
Sports Visual Journalist, Phoenix

Reece Andrews expects to graduate in May 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism. Andrews has worked for the State Press and at WCSN. He has also been in Cronkite News Los Angeles.