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The ASU football team kicked off its 2022 spring practices on Tuesday at the Kajikawa Football Practice Fields. Several new players and coaches are getting acquainted as the team begins to take shape.
All eyes were on the quarterbacks, as expected. Redshirt junior quarterback Trenton Bourguet taking reps with the first-team offense. Redshirt junior and Alabama transfer quarterback Paul Tyson taking the second-team offense snaps.
Throughout Tuesday morning’s drills, Bourguet looked a tad more comfortable throwing the ball. Despite being significantly smaller than Tyson, Bourguet appeared more poised in terms of commanding the new offense.
“You have to see who can manage the offense,” coach Herm Edwards said. “One key is to not turn the ball over, and that was a little bit of our Achilles heel last year.”
The Sun Devils finished last season as one of the most-penalized teams in the nation. Edwards and company hope a change of pace at quarterback and some consistency fixes that problem.
Nonetheless, Tyson’s SEC background and 6-foot 5-inch frame will likely keep him in the quarterback competition throughout the spring. After that though, Edwards said it’ll be on him to make a final decision.
“Then you got to make a decision,” Edwards said. “Is the quarterback here, is he not here? We don’t know that, hopefully he’s in the building. If not, then there’s always plan B.”
The first-team offensive line from left tackle to right tackle featured sophomore Isaia Glass, senior LaDarius Henderson, redshirt junior Ben Scott, redshirt senior Spencer Lovell and graduate transfer Des Holmes. Even with the attention on the quarterbacks this spring, the offensive line will be a key part of the team’s success. ASU lost multiple starting offensive lineman from last year’s group.
During the media viewing of the 11-on-11 period, the ASU offensive line looked lost at times. A couple of early miscues led to the pocket collapsing on Bourguet. Not to mention, a run play or two was halted in the backfield.
At running back for the Sun Devils is redshirt freshman Daniyel Ngata. Ngata finished last season with 108 total rush yards and a touchdown. The redshirt freshman appears to be the favorite to start this year if he can hang onto the rock.
Ngata fumbled the handoff on a cut drill early in Tuesday’s practice.
The first-team wide receivers included senior Ricky Pearsall, redshirt sophomore Elijhah Badger and graduate student Bryan Thompson. These wideouts, along with the rest of the ASU offense, will be learning from first-year offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas.
Edwards said the offense shouldn’t be too tricky for his players to grasp, given the fact it won’t be much different from the previous one.
“Some of the verbage might have changed a little bit, I think that helps you some,” Edwards said. “Because players think, ‘Oh I got to learn something different,’ but a lot of it is the same.”
The next spring practice for ASU football is slated for Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
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