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Arizona State Sun Devils

Notes ahead of Arizona State’s spring game Saturday

A number of new Sun Devils, like Clayton Smith (left), have stood out in spring practices. © Cheryl Evans-The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Arizona State football has officially wrapped up its spring practices and fans get a chance to see the new-look team under first-year coach Kenny Dillingham at ASU’s spring game Saturday at noon.

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Below are a couple of notes on who and what to watch for from the team that have been reported from various media outlets at ASU’s spring camp. 

The Teams

Taylor Lewan and Will Compton have brought their Bussin’ with the Boys podcast on the road to different college spring practices. Arizona State is the last stop on the tour and their first spring game. They will be opposing coaches of the two teams comprised of Sun Devil players with Compton coaching Team Maroon and Lewan Team Gold.

The two were approached by Dillingham on Twitter earlier this year after he saw they announced a college tour and asked where they should go. He offered to not only have them come to ASU’s spring game, but really build it around them. Lewan makes his homecoming to the Valley, as he hails from Scottsdale Chaparral High School, where current ASU special teams coordinator Charlie Ragle served as his head coach and Dillingham as his assistant.

Key Players (Non QBs)

ASU has some impressive new editions that have stood out so far in spring camp including: junior WR Xavier Guillory (transfer from Idaho State), junior RB DeCarlos Brooks (transfer from Cal), senior DB Shamari Simmons (transfer from Austin Peay), junior DB Xavion Alford (transfer from USC), LB Travion Brown (grad transfer from Washington State), sophomore DL Clayton Smith (transfer from Oklahoma) and freshman DL C.J. Fite. A few familiar faces like WR Elijhah Badger, TE Jalin Conyers, DB Ro Torrence and DL B.J. Green have continued to shine and players such as RB/WR Javen Jacobs and DL Gharin Stansbury have shown significant improvement throughout the spring. 

In alphabetical order by last name, here is a list of the aforementioned players on each team:

Team Maroon (Will Compton): Elijhah Badger (WR), Travion “Tre” Brown (LB), C.J. Fite (DL), B.J. Green (DL), Xavier Guillory (WR), Shamari Simmons (DB), Ro Torrence (DB)

Team Gold (Taylor Lewan): Xavion Alford (DB), DeCarlos Brooks (RB), Jalin Conyers (TE), Javen Jacobs (RB/WR), Clayton Smith (DL), Gharin Stansbury (DL)

QB Battle

The Sun Devils have an ongoing QB battle between last season’s end-of-year starter Trenton Bourguet (Team Maroon), incoming Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne (Team Gold) and highly-touted incoming freshman Jaden Rashada (Team Gold). Dillingham is known to be a great coach for QBs, as was evidenced by Bo Nix’s tremendous 2022 season for Oregon when Dillingham was the offensive coordinator. 

Trenton Bourguet replaced Emory Jones as the starter halfway through the year last season. Before the additions of Pyne and Rashada, the job was, and still potentially could be, considered to be his to lose. He threw for 1490 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions in six games played last season. Bourguet has always been confident in himself and the 5-foot-11 Marana product bet on himself this season, as he stuck with the Sun Devils despite two elite quarterback editions.

Drew Pyne comes to the Sun Devils as a redshirt sophomore after starting the last ten games for a prominent college football program in the Fighting Irish in 2022 and leading them to an 8-2 record in those games. He threw for 2,001 yards, 21 touchdowns, five interceptions and completed 64.9% of his passes during this stretch. He was rated as a four-star quarterback out of high school and the No. 1 player in Connecticut by many media outlets.

As the highest-rated recruit and lone four-star in the Sun Devil’s 2023 high school class, Rashada, a 6-foot-4 dual-threat QB from Northern California, comes to ASU with a lot of expectations. After having an infamous NIL deal go wrong with Florida, Rashada could have gone anywhere, but he flipped his commitment from the Gators to Arizona State, following in the footsteps of his father, Harlen Rashada. Harlen played defensive back for the Sun Devils from 1992-94. Jaden started his last two high school seasons and threw for 5,816 yards, 80 touchdowns and completed 60% of his passes. He also had 592 yards and nine touchdowns rushing. He enrolled early and has been practicing with the team this spring. 

ICYMI: The Schedule for the Spring Game

What does the itinerary look like for a busy day at Sun Devil Stadium tomorrow?

There is a lot to watch for in the first spring game of the Dillingham era on what will be a crazy Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium.

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