“When I flew back home from my visit I knew I was going to commit there,” Jones admitted. “I just wanted to come home and let all the glitz and glamour of the school to come off a little bit before I made my decision. I really wanted to think where I wanted to be for the next four years of my life.
“I talked to Coach Long on Monday and I told him that I was going to give Coach Graham a call later on that night, but it didn’t end up happening because I wanted to think about it a little more because it’s obviously a big decision. But I feel really confident about my decision because I've been thinking about it every minute since I came back from the visit.”
Jones reiterated the fact of how much he liked Arizona State back in the spring when he visited Tempe for the first time, but as he visited other schools he realized how much tougher his decision was going to be.
“I took two visits to Oregon (one of them an official) and I was feeling really good about them,” Jones said. “But I knew I had to go to Arizona State again to see what game day was like there. Once I got out there I realized this is where I needed to be.
“I love the atmosphere there and the opportunity they provide for their athletes are unbelievable. I love the coaches and I was able to build a strong relationship with some of them like (offensive line) Coach Thomsen. He’s the guy I’m going to spend the most time with and I’m really high on him. He’s a great guy and a good man. So I just feel at home at Arizona State and I know this is where I needed to be.”
Needless to say that the lineman’s timing for a visit was quite impeccable as he witnessed the Sun Devils in their best game of year as the routed Washington 53-24.
“I feel that I could play in that system and fit in really well,” Jones stated. “I like how the run the no huddle, get up to the line and get going. I really like the up tempo pace and their blocking schemes. I watched some film with Coach Thomsen and he showed me how I could fit in. I’m 100 percent with it.”
Aside from the pure football aspect of the school, there were naturally some other factors that were equally impressive and contributed to his ultimate decision, and one of them actually stood out above the rest.
“One of the main reason I enjoyed the official visit so much was meeting with Jean Boyd the director of their academics,” Jones recalled. “He’s unrivaled to anything I've seen at the other schools. He’s an incredible guy who can provide incredible opportunities for athletes. The way I see it if you can’t be successful in his program you won’t be successful in life because he gives you every tool possible to succeed.”
The 6-5 275-pound Sam Jones was named All-State following his junior season at Thunderridge High School. The Grizzlies finished with an 11-2 record and were eliminated in the 5A state semifinals. Jones is projected by ASU at either offensive tackle spot.
“The coaches really like my athleticism,” Jones said. “They said I can play on an island as a tackle and do well. They like how I come off the ball with good pop and play pretty nasty. They said that this is what they needed from their linemen and I agree with them because I think I can bring a lot to their O-Line.”
Jones said that he had no intentions of visiting other schools and certainly gave a pragmatic reason for that approach.
“I feel that my commitment to the school means that you don’t take anymore visits and that you are really committed to them,” Jones explained. “I feel that the commitment goes both ways since they are not going to get a guy that they thought they couldn’t get and move me off.
“That’s the way I feel - that if I’m committed I will stay true to my word and that I would expect the same from them.”