Even as an FCS opponent, Southern Utah will bring a handful of professional prospects to Tempe on Thursday night. These are the Thunderbird players to look out for against Arizona State.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Justin Miller - For a team that won four games in the last two years combined, Southern Utah does have the luxury of a clear starting quarterback.
Miller, an FCS Sophomore All-American, started all six games for the Thunderbirds in its spring season. He threw 15 touchdowns and over 1700 yards in those games. The 6-foot-3, 210 pound junior college product (Snow College) will lead a spready-style attack against an established and respected Sun Devil Secondary on Thursday night.
Not a stranger to the Grand Canyon state, he threw for five touchdowns last spring in the Walkup Skydome against NAU last season. In last week’s loss to San Jose State, he completed 15 of 29 passes (51.7 percent) with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Freshman running back David Moore - Based on last year’s performance, it seemed that freshman Dayne Christiansen (6.9 YPC, two touchdowns in spring 2021) would be the lead back for SUU, but the Thunderbirds’s first game last week showed us that David Moore could receive the bulk load in the fall.
Moore led the team with 10 carries for 32 yards, while Christiansen went six for 21 yards. Both hover around 5-foot-9 and have speed that kills, and these two backs will need to give SUU more depth as weapons if they want to compete against the Sun Devils, who struggle against the run.
Sophomore Karris Davis made the most of his rushes last week, taking five for 36 yards, so it is unclear how head coach Demario Warren will split the load between the three backs.
Redshirt junior linebacker La’akea Kaho’ohanohano-Davis - The most talented Thunderbird is found on the defensive side of the ball in Kaho’ohanohano-Davis. In just six games, he recorded seven sacks and 57 tackles. A first-team FCS All-American, he will be the heartbeat of any defensive attack Southern Utah can muster on Thursday.
The Hawai’i native will likely be an NFL draft pick in the coming years, and will be one of the most electrifying players to take the field in general on Thursday night.