Sun Devils top Strong's list

Sun Devils top Strong's list

Even before playing a down of football at Pierce College, Jaelen Strong was already attracting several suitors, including ASU. An impressive freshman season for the Brahmas has done anything but silence the pursuit for wide receiver. As Strong starts to devise a short list to choose from, he is indicating that the Sun Devils are currently distinguishing themselves from the rest of the pack.

"Recruiting with Arizona State is going well," Strong said. "I like everything about the school and they are treating me well, like I'm already part of the team. So far, so good.

"I like how their offense always creates mismatches so someone is open to make a play. I was visiting there in the summer and I like how big the school is and that it is a great atmosphere."

The 6-4 200-pound Jaelen Strong led his league and all of Southern California junior colleges with over 126 yards receiving per game. His 15 touchdowns paced his league and were second in the region.

"Honestly, I surprised myself a little bit," Strong admitted. "It just shows that if you work hard you can play well. I'm happy I played like that in my first year (at the JC level). Coaches like my size, my speed and how I get separation from the defensive backs." Arizona State Tight Ends Coach Chip Long visited with Strong in Woodland Hills, Calif. and Head Coach Todd Graham and Offensive Coordinator Mike Norvell visited with Strong's mother in Philadelphia.

"She was very impressed with what they had to say," Strong commented.

While in Philadelphia, the ASU coaches also visited Strong's childhood friend and coveted four-star running back and Sun Devil prospect David Williams.

"We've been talking about going together to Arizona State," Strong stated. "Right now they are his number two school behind South Carolina but they could end up as his number one."

"They (ASU) are on the top for me."

The fact that former Pierce cornerback Oliver Johnson is a current member of the Sun Devils, and that fellow Brahmas wide receiver Joe Morris is already committed to ASU, are two factors that attract Strong to Tempe that much more.

"Obviously the more people you know around you, the more comfortable you are on the team," Strong said. "I know I have a chance to start there. Oliver told me that if I sign there I just have to come in and work hard so I can earn my spot."

The wide receiver noted that Oregon State, Washington, Texas Tech, Mississippi State and Tennessee were all schools that have been pursuing him in earnest for the last several months.

Strong hasn't taken any official visits to date since he was originally scheduled to graduate in December of 2013. He is however in the process of arranging his course workload so he will graduate this summer.

"I'm not going to make a decision before signing day," Strong remarked. "I'm not taking any visits this month but next month I will visit Arizona State maybe on January 18th. I'll maybe visit Texas Tech and Oregon State too.

"I'm looking for a school that feels like a family, has a good quarterback, a good offense and just a good environment. When I take my visits I'll just know if that is the right place for me."

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