Arizona State starting quarterback Jayden Daniels has entered the transfer portal, according to 247Sports' Chris Hummer. Multiple members of the Sun Devils coaching staff have already been informed of his plans, per 247Sports, and his request has been processed by the school. Daniels is expected to consider several Power Five suitors, including some within the Pac-12.
The impending portal addition comes after Daniels announced in December that he would be returning to Arizona State for his senior season. However, the program underwent significant coaching staff changes to start 2022 in the wake of the NCAA's investigation into allegations of improper contact during the COVID-19 dead period. Among them were offensive coordinator Zak Hill and tight ends coach Adam Breneman, both of whom resigned in January after initially being placed on administrative leave.
Daniels made history in 2019 when he became the first true freshman quarterback to start a season opener in Arizona State history -- a 30-7 win over Kent State -- and he went on to throw for 2,943 yards, 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions that season. He has been the full-time starter for coach Herm Edwards and thrown for 6,025 yards, 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in three seasons -- one of which (2020) was limited him to four games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does Daniels' departure mean for him and Arizona State?
Daniels is the top QB option in the portal
There's no doubt that Daniels will be one of the most sought-after players in the transfer portal. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is the most experienced available quarterback in the portal at this time. Nearly every other quarterback to hit the portal this offseason has already found a new home.
The only other quarterback in the portal who even comes close to Daniels' experience, talent and potential is JT Daniels, who transferred from Georgia after starting quarterback Stetson Bennett IV announced his return to the defending national champions.
The academic add/drop deadline for most schools has already passed, so if Daniels wants to practice this spring, his transfer options are essentially limited to some schools that aren't on the semester system. Still, there will be plenty of teams lining up to welcome him with open arms no matter when he can get on campus.
Where does Arizona State go from here?
The Sun Devils' quarterback room severely lacks experience. Junior Trenton Bourguet was Daniels' backup last year, but he only went 7 of 10 passing for 91 yards and a touchdown in 2021. Finn Collins and Daylin McLemore could get looks as well, but both were three-star prospects in high school and neither has attempted a collegiate pass.
Alabama transfer Paul Tyson -- the great-grandson of legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant -- also has a chance to earn the top spot on the depth chart. Tyson went 10 of 16 for 150 yards as a backup to Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young in 2021. Arizona State could hit the transfer portal itself to find a quarterback with a little bit of staring experience, but again, options are limited after National Signing Day.
The Sun Devils are a mess
Edwards was supposed to bring the Sun Devils back into prominence, but he has driven them straight into the ground instead. The combination of Daniels' departure, the NCAA investigation and a pared-down coaching staff is going to make it hard to take the program seriously under Edwards' watch.
That wasn't supposed to be the case. He was supposed to come in and install a more NFL-style approach to college football. His star power as a former NFL coach and prominent television analyst was supposed to draw in prospects who not only have professional aspirations, but are excited about the discipline and structure that his program was intended to create.
Instead, Edwards' program has become a punchline in the Pac-12 South -- a division that isn't exactly a gauntlet.