HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — The Arizona State Sun Devils are rarely the main topic of conversation when it comes to Pac-12 football.

But ASU’s Herm Edwards was who everyone wanted to hear from as Pac-12 coaches and selected team representatives gathered at Hollywood’s W Hotel for the annual Football Media Day.

Each team was allotted 25 minutes to speak with the head coach situated on a platform at the front of the room and two players on a podium in the back of the room.

Cal was the first team up in the morning with USC finishing it off. The Sun Devils were the first team up after lunch.

ASU is under NCAA investigation with the main allegation being the hosting of recruits on campus during what was supposed to be a “dead” period. Just last week first-year  tight ends coach Adam Breneman was put on administrative leave.

Most expected Edwards to utter those famous words “no comment” when asked about the allegations. But Edwards beat the gathered reporters to the punch, saying in his opening statement he couldn’t comment on that matter.

More traditional questions followed with Edwards answering in the same engaging fashion in which he normally does. He said it was business as usual and he didn’t expect the issue to be a distraction.

“For us it hasn’t been a distraction. We’re excited about being back in the building and getting ready for the season,” Edwards said. “We’re excited about the football team we’re putting on the field.”

Junior quarterback Jayden Daniels and senior corner Chase Lucas were the player representatives from ASU. They echoed the same sentiments.

“We’re just worried about what we can control,” Lucas said. “Our whole focus is on winning games and getting to the Rose Bowl.”

Berryhill returns

Junior wide receiver Stanley Berryhill was one of the two Arizona players picked to accompany new head coach Jedd Fisch to the festivities. Berryhill was one of many players that put their names in the transfer portal after the winless 2020 season but ultimately decided to return five weeks or so later.

“I was looking for something new, something fresh, something out of my comfort zone,” he said. “What brought me back was talking to coach Fisch and coach KC. I felt they were that change I needed I talked to them about their plan for the program and I liked what they had to say.”

Berryhill caught 23 passes for 227 yards and three touchdown in five games in 2020. Being a native of Tucson, he wanted to be part of a resurgence.

“I was a Wildcat fan growing up and these are my brothers,” he said. “I think I can be part of the solution here. We’re planning on turning it around this year.”

Bequette back at Cal

The Cal defensive line could get a boost with the return of Luc Bequette who played at Boston College last season after five years at Cal.

Bequette, now 24, saw action in 42 games at Cal, starting 38 of those from 2016 through 2019 after redshirting as a freshman in 2015.

He was granted a sixth year of eligibility for the 2020 season after playing just four games in 2016 before being injured. When the conference suspended the season in August, Bequette opted to go to Boston College so he could get in a full 11-game season.

Bequette started all 11 games at defensive tackle for the Eagles, totaling 18 tackles, with three tackles for loss, two forced and one recovery.

He decided to take advantage of the NCAA allotting players and extra year so he’ll be a seventh year college football player being showcased on a team known for its defense.

Cal coach Justin Wilcox said there are still some red tape with the NCAA before the player is cleared for this season but he is optimistic about that prospect.

Rolovich mum on decision

Washington State coach Nick Rolovich appeared virtually because he has made the decision to not get vaccinated and said he will not talk publicly about the reason behind that decision.

Still, he says he’s not against vaccination and admits the school has done a good job of educating players and their families about the vaccine. Rolovich said his team is at about 75 percent of players vaccinated or in process of getting fully vaccinated.

He also addressed the topic of quarterback Jayden de Laura, who was suspended after a DUI in February. He was reinstated in May but missed all of spring practice.

“Jayden knows he made a mistake,” Rolovich said. “When that happened I told him, this mistake will not decide your career. How you approach after this mistake will probably determine a good portion of your career. He got his head down, worked on his academics. I know it hurt him not to be in spring ball. It hurt us, right, not having a guy who has taken some game reps in the system being out there. I felt for the betterment of that young man and his future and his ability to help us in the future, you know, it was the right punishment to make sure he understood the severity of his decisions.”

Quarterbacks on the move

One the more interesting moves during the offseason was the transfer of quarterback Sam Noyer from Colorado to Oregon State. Noyer was part of  a much-improved Colorado team a year ago.

“He (Noyer) has won games at quarterback in this league,” coach Jonathan Smith said. “Has a little bit different skill set, makes the game physical, moving his

feet, big-time arm.”

Noyer should contend for the starting job with Tristan Gebbia, who was the starter last season before sustaining hamstring injury that required surgery, as well as Chance Nolan, who replaced Gebbia.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 602 444-4783.  Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports.

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