PHOENIX - Herm Edwards didn’t want to waste his time announcing it to the team, but he did inform reporters Monday night that freshman Jayden Daniels is officially the Sun Devils’ starting quarterback.
Freshman Joey Yellen is the number two guy and head coach Herm Edwards is adamant that freshman Ethan Long will see some time at the position as well in certain packages.
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Rob Likens said in his 30 years of coaching, he’s never coached nor does he recall a scenario where the number one and two quarterbacks are true freshmen. But, he had nothing but praise for the young quarterbacks.
“I’ve been around a lot of quarterbacks and you just have that feeling kind of, they just kind of got, it’s not too big for them,” said head coach Herm Edwards
Daniels is the highest-ranked quarterback to land at ASU and will make history at the end of the month, becoming the first true freshman to start for the Sun Devils in their season opener. Still, the coaching staff wants to make sure they’re not placing too high of expectations on him.
“He’s not the savior,” said Edwards. “I don’t want anyone to think that. He’s a freshman quarterback like all freshmen are. He’s going to do a lot of good things and sometimes he’s going to make some errors. That’s part of it.”
Daniels has been praised for his poise and ability to pick up the pace of college football and having that “it” factor that can’t always be explained.
“One of the things you have to look at is what doe the offense do while he’s in the game,” said Likens. “We moved the ball while he was in there, positive things happened. Sometimes it’s you can’t put your finger it.”
Ball security with Daniels was also a differentiating factor.
Joey Yellen has also made big strides since he arrived in the spring.
“It all started with changing his body,” said Likens. He lost some weight, he got in great shape. He had something throwing motion issues that he was going through that we got fixed right before camp started."
“He’s extremely smart,” Likens added. “He grew up idolizing Peyton Manning and that’s kind of what he fashions his game after. He uses his mind to beat the defense along with his arm.”
Redshirt-junior Dillon Sterling-Cole did not practice on Monday, he’s been dealing with a shoulder injury.
ASU opens the season August 29th at 7:00 p.m. against Kent State.