ASU redshirt junior wide receiver Xavier Guillory has always felt he's had a chip on his shoulder. After transferring to Tempe over the offseason, he's had a lot to prove and then some. Despite the pressure put on himself, he has already made his mark on the team.
Guillory has been one of the transfer standouts in spring ball so far. He usually gets reps with the first team alongside redshirt junior wide receiver Elijhah Badger. He's been one of the favorites for the quarterbacks in practice as he's frequently targeted out of the gate, and it already looks like he's been here for more than a mere few months.
"I've gotten really close with the receiving group," Guillory said. "We've had a lot of good talks and have been able to be closer to each other. I feel like our chemistry has really evolved from day one so I’m a lot more comfortable."
Despite all this, Guillory wasn't even given the opportunity to attend a Power Five school in his initial recruitment process coming out of high school. It's something that drives him to succeed.
"A lot of people are still doubting me," Guillory said. "I never got the opportunity to prove myself out of high school so I’m trying to show the world that I can play some ball."
He was a standout in high school, where he attended Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Washington. Guillory caught 45 passes for 725 yards and 11 touchdowns in his senior year alone, which earned him a three-star prospect rating on 247Sports.
At Idaho State, he earned a spot on the Big Sky all-conference second team after a quality sophomore season, where he collected 785 receiving yards in 2022 while catching four touchdowns.
He played under head coach Charlie Ragle, who is now assistant head coach at ASU. Ragle came to Tempe this offseason as part of new ASU coach Kenny Dillingham's coaching staff and was a big component of Guillory's commitment to play at ASU.
Another person that Dillingham brought in was offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin. Guillory has known Baldwin since he was 14. All three of the coaches went after the 6-foot-3-inch wide receiver hard after he entered the transfer portal on Nov. 28, 2022.
For Guillory, it seemed that the stars aligned between the coaches and how much he liked the offensive philosophy of all three.
"You can play outside, inside, you can get a chance to play at multiple positions," Guillory said. "The mashup between Dillingham and Baldwin, those two are offensive geniuses. It's just a recipe for success and puts us in the best opportunity to make plays and give playmakers the ball."
He committed less than a month later on Dec. 23, 2022. His commitment was an early Christmas gift for Dillingham, Ragle and Baldwin.
Since spring ball has started, Guillory has been the gift that keeps on giving, both on and off the field.
The on-field traits have been clearly displayed for all Sun Devil faithful to see, and his teammates have been taking notice.
"He's been balling lately," said senior wide receiver Giovanni Sanders. "He's got top-end speed, every time he runs a route I think, 'dang, he can move fast,' but on top of that, he is strong. He can move people off their spot pretty easily after his release."
However, to Guillory, it's what he does when no one is watching that separates him.
"I know I got all the physical tools but what separates me is the mental game," Guillory said. "It's all about getting the little details down, and putting extra hours in looking at film and mastering the playbook."
Two weeks into spring practice, Dillingham mentioned a few of the transfers, including Guillory, are hungrier because they've been humbled by where they've been, Guillory is the perfect example. Expect him to be one of the premier receiving options in the new Dillingham-ran offense come September for ASU.
Until then, ASU's annual spring game is on April 15 at noon at Sun Devil Stadium.
Edited by Kathryn Field, Reagan Priest and Grace Copperthite.
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Vincent Deangelis is a full-time reporter for the sports department at The State Press. He has previously worked for Arizona PBS and AZPreps365.com.