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Tight End Position Could be Massive X-Factor for Sun Devils in 2022

Despite being a position underutilized by the Arizona State Sun Devils football program in recent years, 2022 could be a different story with some intriguing options.

The Arizona State Sun Devils football program faces a massive crossroad when looking at their passing attack. The team is facing practically a rebuild following the departure of three-year starting quarterback Jayden Daniels and several wide receivers including Ricky Pearsall and LV Bunkley-Shelton, all to the NCAA Transfer Portal. To call this a daunting predicament would be an understatement.

While Arizona State has found a way to bring in some new faces to help the passing attack stay competent, including wide receiver Camron Johnson from Vanderbilt, it could be looking at a position that has been largely unused in recent years: tight end.

It's not entirely the Sun Devils' fault, as there have been few noteworthy names at the position, but the seeming unwillingness to include a tight end is troubling, to say the least. With a talent like Curtis Hodges vastly underused in 2021, there is going to be some hope that that may change in 2022.

Arizona State has some intriguing options at the position entering the season. Redshirt sophomore Jalin Conyers stands out as a potential breakout player for the offense after recording six receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown a year ago. Conyers has shown some nice promise with a potentially larger role in the offense and can at the very least match what Hodges did last year.

The major X-factor here is transfer Messiah Swinson. Swinson is built like a power forward at 6-foot-8, 251 pounds and throughout training camp has shown the ability to post up in the red zone and be a touchdown machine. If he can continue this trend into the season, Swinson could very well lead the Sun Devils in receiving touchdowns.

While the team's wide receiver room is largely unproven, there remains some interesting, untapped talent. The tight end room, however, could wind up becoming a major factor for an offense that is trying to regain its mojo in the passing attack. With Conyers and Swinson leading the way, Arizona State may have itself a tight end duo worthy of praise and its best play at the position in quite some time.