Arizona State will open the 2023 season at home against Southern Utah on Thursday, Aug. 31. It’ll be the first game of the Kenny Dillingham era in Tempe. And it’ll also mark the start of a new era at quarterback.

Freshman Jaden Rashada has won the team’s quarterback competition in fall camp and will draw the start in the season opener, according to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro. Rashada was competing with Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne, BYU transfer Jacob Conover, and Trenton Bourguet.

Pyne was expected to win the starting job out of fall camp and had been getting the majority of first-team reps before a hamstring injury at Camp Tontozona on Aug. 12 slowed his progress. Ever since, Rashada has accelerated.

Rashada was a significant addition for the Sun Devils in the class of 2023. After initially signing with Florida, Rashada ended up at Arizona State after his NIL deal with the Gators fell through.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound freshman was a 4-star prospect in the class of 2023. He was the No. 81 overall player and the No. 7 quarterback in the country for that cycle, per the industry-generated 247 Composite.

As a senior playing in California’s high school scene, Rashada threw for 5,275 yards with 59 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Dillingham’s offense promises tempo and explosion. Last season, he was partially responsible for a resurgent campaign from former Auburn-turned-Oregon quarterback Bo Nix. Before being slowed late in the year by a lower-body injury, Nix looked like a darkhorse shot to make it to New York City as a Heisman finalist. He was one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country and was protected exceptionally well.

What can ASU expect from Rashada in Year 1? There will be growing pains, for sure. But Rashada has poise in the pocket and can make plays under pressure. At the high school level, he showed good touch and an ability to take the top off a defense. If he can mitigate the turnovers, Rashada is more than capable of providing the same kind of explosive plays Dillingham grew accustomed to seeing from his pass game last season.

ASU’s opener against Southern Utah is set for 7 p.m. PT.