Senior wide receiver Mike Jones has been as productive as any Sun Devil skill player the last two…
Crucial Decision Awaits Jones
Nonetheless, in 2007 he paced the maroon and gold with ten touchdowns and established himself as on the top returning receivers in the Pac-10 this season. He collected 46 catches and 769 yards and led the nation in reception-to-touchdown ratio among players with at least 45 receptions.
A remarkable feat? Jones shrugs his shoulders at that notion.
"It's just the way it is," he remarked. "I've been doing this for a long time, and I just know what to do and what not to do. I love to play and compete in both sports and I just like to show the fans in both sports that I can play."
His 2008 baseball campaign was in sharp contrast to his 2007 football season. Jones batted .172 in 58 plate appearances and started just 16 of 49 games he played in. Yet, those numbers don't convey the high level of admiration that Jones has for the baseball program. "I've had many good memories from that program, Coach Murphy and the players," said Jones. "I'll never forget them. I can't thank Coach Murphy enough for giving me the opportunity to play baseball here."
"Going to the professional level was a great opportunity I couldn't pass up," remarked Jones who was selected by the Yankees in the in the 29th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft. He played for 15 games of rookie ball in Tampa, and batted .184 with five doubles. He also drew five walks and stole a base. "I had fun and learned a lot there," he said of his experience.
With his football eligibility about to exhaust by the end of this year, Jones is confronted with the dilemma of whether to continue and pursue his very young professional baseball career or devote all his time and energy for the NFL combine which will take place just a couple of months after the football season comes to a conclusion.
"Honestly, I'm up for grabs and not thinking about that right now," Jones claimed. "I just wanna come out here and have a good (football) season. If I take care of business on the field, business off the field will take care of itself. In January, if I want to prepare for the NFL I'll do that. If I still wanna play baseball I'll do that too."
Due to various injuries, it has been an inconsistent fall camp for the wide receiver. Therefore, he was quite content that in the camp's ending scrimmage he was able to score a 32-yard touchdown and lead all wide receivers in both catches and yards in that session.
"I felt real sick all day," said Jones after the scrimmage. "But I wanted to come out and show everyone that the team was ready to play. It was a good feeling to come out here and score."
"Injuries did slow me down in camp, but I still feel that I can be ready to go when the season starts. I might have to work a little bit conditioning wise because I missed some practices, but I'm gonna take care of that as the season goes along."
Like many Sun Devil faithful following their team in the off-season, Jones realizes the depth and talent on Arizona State's wide receiver corps and is excited for the possibilities that lie ahead for this unit.
"I love being around these guys," Jones stated. "Everyone knows what they're doing. Even the younger guys like Gerell (Robinson) come here with a great attitude of wanting to learn as much as they can so they can contribute this year. Who knows how many receivers we will have playing in games this year? We might have 20 of them (laughs)."
As one of two seniors in the receivers unit, Jones not only wants to make his last go around in Tempe to be a memorable one, but also exude more leadership than ever before.
"That's my job," he commented. "I've been here five years. I know how the college scene works on and off (the field), and I need to answer any questions players have about football and non-football issues. I just want to look out for my teammates and help all of us to have a great season this year."
Personally, Jones wants to be the big playmaker for the team just like he was last year. "I really want to help get the team over the hump this year, and I want us to be outright Pac-10 champs this year," he said.
DevilsDigest.com Recommended Stories
Senior Day Rout for ASU
After the letdown in Corvallis last weekend against Oregon State, the Sun Devils took care of business this week in a must-win situation in front of 51,428 at home against Washington State, cruising…Read More
Week 13: Player Downgrades
Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Rusty Reeves predicts a heaping handful of players who will decline in the coming weeks. They should be downgraded at least one tier. Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler …Read More
DevilsDigest TV: Damarious Randall
With an NCAA petition for an extra year of eligibility to be filed, time will tell if today was indeed Damarious Randall's last game at Sun Devil Stadium. If it was, than the senior safety made this…Read More
Sun Devils tame Lions with dominating second
Arizona State is still in the midst of finding itself as a basketball team. While staring into the mirror that was the team’s third game of the season the Sun Devils beat Loyola Marymount 68-44…Read More
Outdoorsman's Gift Guide: Christmas 2014
Finding just the right present for that special someone can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled a wide variety of hunting, fishing and outdoor gifts that you—or Santa—can deliver this Christmas.Read More