When Herm Edwards left his job as ESPN to become the next head coach at Arizona State, it seemed like a move that wouldn’t greatly effect the college football world. Now, after just two years in Tempe, Edwards has the Sun Devils in position to compete for a PAC-12 championship.
In 2018, when the Sun Devils hired Edwards to be their next coach, Todd Graham had just been fired after finishing two of his last three seasons under .500. Now, after 2 years, ASU is on the come up. They’ve been 15-11 over the last two years and have grabbed some statement wins, with two victories over Michigan State and an upset of top-10 Oregon on Saturday Night Football last year.
Edwards has also made a large impact on the recruiting trail. He has brought in two top-30 classes (according to 247 Sports) – an accomplishment Graham failed to achieve in his last two years with the Sun Devils. One of Edwards’ first recruits was a 4 star quarterback out of San Bernardino, California. His name? Jayden Daniels. Daniels was inserted as the starter last year after senior star Manny Wilkins graduated. Daniels looked a little timid at first , managing only 19 points in an early season win over Sacramento State, but he became the man in week 3 in East Lansing.
Michigan State was the #18 team in the nation and boasted an elite defense, and ASU looked like just a young team. It was 7-3 in the 4th quarter, but true freshman Jayden Daniels led his team down the field to win the game 10-7. ASU then matched up against #6 Oregon on a Saturday Night in November. Daniels threw for 408 yards and 3 TDs, including an iconic 3rd & 16 connection with Brandon Aiyuk.
This all occurred while his counterpart Justin Herbert, the supposed “best QB in the PAC 12”, Justin Herbert, completely disappeared in the 2nd half. So what’s my point? This team and this quarterback were underestimated all last year, and they beat some nationally relevant teams that took them for granted.
Next year, the Sun Devils return 76% of their 2019 production on defense, and they have an offense led by Jayden Daniels. Herm Edwards and Jayden Daniels have turned this program around. Ladies and gentlemen, assuming there is a season, the Arizona State Sun Devils are going to win the PAC-12 in 2020.