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October 22, 2013
Jones talks ASU pledge
Sam Jones was confident that he'd be headed to one of two Pac-12 programs.Entering his official visit to Arizona State last weekend Highland Ranch (Colo.) Thunderridge offensive tackle
Jones just didn't know which one and had been torn between the two. But then it all became clear.
"I had been to Oregon more recently and I thought they were No. 1 and when I went to Arizona State on this official, I just really knew that's where i needed to be," Jones said.
In choosing ASU, the 6-foot-5, 285 pound Jones rejected offers from Cal, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and a host of others.
"The coaches are the main reason," Jones said. "I am going to love playing for (offensive line) coach (Chris) Thomsen and coach (Todd) Graham. They are just great guys. What you see is what you get it with them. They weren't putting up any smoke and mirrors to get me there and that's something I appreciated from the beginning.
"As soon as I got off the phone with coach Graham (Tuesday night) I felt like it was a huge weight off my shoulders. The main reason I felt that way is because I knew that was where I needed to be. It's just the greatest feeling in the world."
ASU was leading for Jones and aggressively pursuing him dating to early this year after he visited the school for its Junior Day. At the time it was thought a decision may happen quickly, perhaps even before the summer. Ultimately, Jones wanted to continue to develop his relationships with the coaches, especially Thomsen.
"I love coach Thomsen," Jones said. "I liked a lot of these line coaches and obviously that's who I'm going to be spending the most time with. I wanted to make sure it was a good person I would be spending time with and coach Thomsen is one of the best men I've met."
Jones has followed ASU closely and seen its offense put up 50 or more points in four games this season, including an in person viewing of its throttling of Washington Saturday.
"Arizona State is headed in a great direction," Jones said. "They are definitely building something special and I'm honored to be a part of it. Obviously Oregon, they have a lot of success, but when it comes down to it it's where you want to be in the next 4-5 years."
Jones could play either right or left tackle for the Sun Devils, a position of need for the program in recruiting.
"I feel like my athleticism is one of my suits and then I do play nasty; legal, but nasty," he said. "That's one of the things schools have said they like about me and that's something I think you need as a lineman.
"I put in an unbelievable amount of work during the offseason and into this year. I've never prepared for anything more in my life and I'm really happy the way it's turning out."
Jones is the 17th commitment in the recruiting class and the No. 5 overall prospect in Colorado, rated 5.6 (three stars) by Rivals.com.