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How Sun Devils Quarterbacks Performed in Spring Showcase

Now that spring practice is over, where do Arizona State's quarterbacks stand?

Spring practice has come and gone for Arizona State, and questions still surround the open competition at quarterback. 

The Sun Devils have been searching for their starter since Jayden Daniels hit the transfer portal on Feb. 17. 

The top two candidates for the job, Tyson Paul and Trenton Bourguet, have been the focal point of attention since ASU first took the field on March 15. 

Four weeks later, we still don't have a clear-cut winner. Head coach Herm Edwards did offer this interesting comment when he spoke with reporters. 

He said, "Is the quarterback here? Is he not here? We don't know that. Hopefully he's in the building. If not, there's always plan B (the transfer portal).

"I always said, a plan that can't be changed is a bad plan. So if you have a plan doing something and it has to be changed, you better be in a position to change it. And so we'll be in position to do what we have to do to make sure we get the best quarterback to play the position. Hopefully the guy is here. I'd love for that to happen. We don't know that yet because it's the first day of practice. That's where it's at."

Fifteen practices later, did Edwards' opinion change at all? 

After the spring showcase he said, “It is a position we have a lot of talent, not a lot of experience per se, but I like our talent.”

Translation: We're not quite sure. 

The Sun Devils won't be able to see anyone in action again until preseason activities in the summer, yet the prior 15 practices should give Arizona State plenty of film to at least have a better idea of their quarterback situation. 

Last Saturday, we were treated to a scrimmage-like atmosphere that provided the closest thing to simulated play we'll get until ASU begins regular-season play. 

Here's what we saw out of each of Arizona State's five quarterbacks at the spring showcase: 

Trenton Bourguet

Trenton Bourguet

Bourguet was the passer who strolled out with the starters to begin the night, although Tyson eventually found himself in the mix after a handful of drives. 

Bourguet's mobility was on display throughout the night thanks to Arizona State's frequent play-action usage. 

Snippet of plays with the first-team:

  • Incomplete pass to Ricky Pearsall on a corner route after rolling out to left side 
  • Checked down to Daniyel Ngata in the flats
  • Found Elijah Badger wide open on intermediate post route

Bourguet was only with the second team for a short time, but he did manage to make a few splash plays:

  • Nearly connected on a touchdown in the end zone, but the pass (that would have been a touch catch) was dropped
  • Checked down to Messiah Swinson in the flats 
  • Nearly connected with Jalin Conyers in the end zone, but another pass was dropped in a tight window

Down the stretch, Bourguet entered the field with the starters for one last drive, where he found Giovanni Sanders on a bootleg play-action near the sideline. He then found an open Andre Johnson on a comeback route soon after before his night was finished. 

Overall, Bourguet played fairly well during the time he was on the field. Will his size come back to haunt him? Many believe Bourguet is best suited to be Arizona State's guy, but Tyson's profile (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) is enticing and could be preferred by coaches in ASU's offense.

Paul Tyson spring practice

Paul Tyson

Tyson initially entered Sun Devil Stadium as the No. 2 quarterback, but he had plenty of time with the first team on Saturday. His arm strength was put on display for Sun Devil fans a handful of times, showing the capability to push the ball down the field. 

Tyson's first time dropping back counted as an unofficial sack for the defense, as he fail to get the ball off. Tyson's first passing attempt came via rolling out thanks to more defensive pressure. He did manage to hit running back Xazavian Valladay on the run for a decent gain. 

When Tyson joined the starting unit, he was able to show off a little more of what he could do:

  • His first pass with the starters connected with Bryan Thompson down the sideline for a 30-yard gain
  • Two plays later, Tyson again targeted Thompson, but was unable to connect on the opposite side of the field
  • Completion to Pearsall after completing a play-action rollout. Next play was similar but fell incomplete
  • A high pass for Badger in the end zone on fourth down fell incomplete in tight coverage

Tyson was able to connect deep down the field with his receivers, something Bourguet didn't manage to do. However, his mobility remains a concern when navigating out of the pocket and evading defenders. Will his frame and arm strength propel him to starting duties? 

Bourguet has remained the 1A to Tyson's 1B throughout spring practice, and Saturday didn't see any vast differences to change the pecking order. 

Daylin McLemore

Remaining Quarterbacks

Let us not forget that while Bourguet and Tyson are the top contenders for the job, three quarterbacks on the roster behind them are still trying to put their hat in the ring. 

Daylin McLemore has been widely regarded as one of the most improved players over the course of spring practice, and his performance Saturday started with him completing his first three passes. He also displayed mobility on a read-option, tucking the ball and picking up a first down in the process. 

Finn Collins became the fourth quarterback to enter the game, and he nearly threw the first touchdown of the night when connecting with Chad Johnson Jr. down the field, as the play was stopped at the 2-yard line. 

However, Bennett Meredith was the lone passer to reach the end zone, connecting with Coben Bourguet deep down the left sideline on the final play of the showcase. 

Outside of Bourguet and Tyson, McLemore saw the most reps of the remaining trio. Collins and Meredith only saw a handful of passing attempts on the night. 

Trenton Bourguet

Quick Thoughts on QB Performances

Bourguet: Looked the most crisp out of all the quarterbacks. His ability to accurately throw the football was not substantially better or worse than Tyson, but his ability to move in the backfield and stretch play-action better was on display.

Tyson: Tyson was able to showcase his rocket arm a time or two, which gets fans and coaches excited when thinking about the ability to connect on big plays at any time. While Tyson did show he was capable of hitting pass-catchers on the run, his obvious lack of mobility holds him back from being the clear-cut guy at ASU. 

Neither quarterback performed well enough to separate themselves as the starter. 

McLemore: Started off hot, but cooled down over the course of his passing attempts. While he's not quite Jayden Daniels with the ball in his hands, McLemore rushes the best of any quarterback on the roster. 

Collins: Showed an obvious rapport with Johnson during his time on the field, and displayed more good than bad. Still work to do, but like the signs of what he could become within the next few years. 

Meredith: Didn't get to see too much of Meredith in the scrimmage, but him managing to bomb the football and place it to where only his receiver could snag it on the last play of practice left a nice impression moving forward. 

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ASU Spring Showcase Recap

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Darien Butler Visits With NFL Team

Trenton Bourguet Talks Leadership, QB Battle

Paul Tyson Excited for New Chapter With Arizona State

Arizona State Ready for Receiving Corps to Hit Next Level

Sun Devils Safety Khoury Bethley Adjusting Well to ASU, New Defense