TEMPE, Ariz. — Not what ASU football fans want to hear. If current reports are any indication, the Sun Devils' starting quarterback from 2022 is set to leave the university.
According to Sun Devil Source, Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels is expected to enter the NCAA transfer portal Thursday.
It's been a tumultuous few weeks for the Sun Devil football program. This news is coming off the announcement of several coaches leaving the program as the NCAA continues its investigation into possible violations by ASU.
We caught up with the publisher of Sun Devil Source, Chris Karpman, who told us more about what led up to Daniels' departure.
"So, there were conversations that happened this season that Daniels had with (ASU head coach) Herm Edwards about his status moving forward with the program," Karpman said. "Even though he expressed in those conversations that he wanted to stay and lead the team for a fourth year, he was, behind the scenes, working with people close to him exploring some possibilities from Power 5 and even Pac-12 teams. And as the process unfolded with ASU's staffing changes related to the NCAA investigation, Zak Hill resigned, Antonio Pierce resigned and the other 3 coaches, that, coupled with the continuing circumstances at ASU ultimately led Jayden Daniels to decide that he wanted to explore his options in the transfer portal."
And even though this is another chapter added to an already long offseason for Sun Devil football, Karpman warned that ASU football has not hit rock bottom yet.
"I would say that we're still in the dark part of the tunnel here. We're months away probably from the (NCAA's) notice of allegations, ASU's going to self-sanction quite aggressively throughout the rest of this year, which means recruiting is going to be bad. I don't think that players are going to have any confidence that this staff will be intact beyond this season. High school kids are going to be concerned about wanting to go to ASU as a result of that. Maybe not being able to play in a bowl game or two, the team's ability to be successful and win, you have a huge amount of booster and fan support being depressed now. Some people don't want to renew their season tickets or they're cutting back the amount they're contributing to the athletic department. there's a lot of calls for (Vice President for University Athletics) Ray Anderson to face some sort of responsibility or blame for this. So, it's a bad situation, probably as bad as I've ever seen in covering ASU for many years now. And I that it's going to probably only get worse for at least probably the rest of this year, unfortunately."
In the hours since the announcement, there has been a mixed reaction from fans on social media, and players were even seen appearing to clean out Daniels' locker in a video and using very strong language when talking about the QB.
Former Sun Devil running back Rachaad White, who is currently training for the NFL Draft, weighed in after seeing the video of the players at Daniels' locker.
Here's a look at the reaction from fans.
This comes 11 weeks to the day from Daniels posting a video on social media announcing his return to Tempe for his 4th season.
Karpman says this video and the reaction on social media to Daniels entering the portal is an accurate representation of his time in Tempe.
"I think from a leadership standpoint, there were always questions about Jayden Daniels, or certainly at least in the last couple of years," Karpman said. "So, I think it was a polarizing, to some degree, Jayden Daniels and what his tenure ended up being as a Sun Devil after such an incredible start that he had. But the way that the season kind of turned disappointing last year with such high hopes and the investigation and his regression, 10 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, he missed a lot of throws down the field, some mechanical issues and some questions about their operational success, I think all of that spiraled into a situation that was pretty, pretty bad."
With Daniels' departure, the Sun Devils now have 5 quarterbacks on their roster. Trenton Bourguet, Paul Tyson, Finn Collins, Nathan Manning and Daylin McLemore. Bourguet is a former walk-on and was Daniels' backup last season. Tyson, who is also the great-grandson of former Alabama head coach Bear Bryant, transferred to ASU from Alabama in January. Here's how Karpman sized up the QB room moving forward.
"I don't think they are going to add any more quarterbacks," Karpman said. "It's pretty late in the process for that. They do have five quarterbacks on their roster, none of whom have really played at this level. They got a 4-star transfer from Alabama, who's a big, strong, 6'5", 230-pound kid who's the great-grandson of Bear Bryant. (Tyson's) got a pretty good pedigree. And then returning to their program, Trenton Bourguet was originally a walk-on who is known as a good operator and someone who has a grasp of the offense, but not as good of physical tools as Jayden Daniels. And then they have three younger guys who probably are not ready to play. Finn Collins might have the best chance out of those three."
This is a developing situation. We will continue to monitor the news and release additional details as more information becomes available.
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