After making 20 or so visits to Arizona State while his brother, Shane Jones, was a football player at the school, Sierra (Calif.) College defensive tackle Shannon Jones felt extremely at ease with the Sun Devil staff and the city of Tempe and it inspired him to become the first oral commitment in the 2005 class. Shannon Jones shared with ASUDevils.com his thoughts on the decision.
“Probably like 20 times,” said Shannon Jones, when asked how many trips he made to Tempe to visit his brother. “I went to a majority of my brother’s games the first year but last year I went a couple times. He’s still out there now in school finishing up. But I just felt comfortable there and really liked the area and there was a huge familiarity.”
The 6-foot-3, 295-pounder was an integral member of the defensive front that led Sierra to an undefeated 11-0 season and its second consecutive league championship and Capital Shrine Bowl victory.
“I started last year and the guy that was ahead of me at the beginning of the season didn’t stay ahead of me for long,” said Jones. “And we had two ends that left (the program this year) that were very good. But we should be fine; we have a couple of new guys coming in that are real positive.”
Jones decided to commit to the Sun Devils the day before the start of the fall semester in order to concentrate on finishing up his two-year degree and prepare for his last season of junior college football.
“I didn’t even know,” Jones said about being the first public Sun Devil commitment of the class. “It feels good to be the first one, really. I got a call from my brother and then I talked to coach Koetter and I just basically talked to all of the coaches and they were all happy and talking about my commitment. It was exciting.”
Jones took a somewhat casual approach to the recruiting process he admits, perhaps because in the back of his mind he always had a good idea about where he might like to play at the next level.
“My coach told me about Oregon, Oregon State, Nebraska, Colorado (showing interest) and Colorado State called me and Cal called me and a lot of teams from the Pac-10 mostly. I knew about (scholarship offers from) the University of Arizona and ASU. But really I wasn’t too focused on all of that.
“I’m just basically trying to do my thing, trying to do better, trying to improve my game so that when I get to Arizona State I’ll be better.
“I’m about 290-295 (pounds) right now,” Jones continued. “I’m not really sure where they would want me (weight-wise) but I would be comfortable being a little less, because I’d feel quicker, but if they wanted me to move up I could do that too.”
Jones is, as of yet, unsure whether he will be able to graduate and transfer into the Arizona State program for the spring semester. With school having just stared on Monday at Sierra, he hasn’t had a chance to speak with his counselor yet, but said he would do so in the near future.
When asked about what he’s working on in order to prepare for his arrival in Tempe next year, Jones said, “I’m just about hard work right now and trying to get better. I feel equally comfortable with run blocking and pass rushing. I just feel comfortable with destroying the line, you know what I mean? That’s all it’s about for me.”
-Chris Karpman, Publisher