Introducing the 2004 Class: Jonathan Lehmann

When playing in a town of 5,000 people, getting noticed by recruiting coaches can be a sizeable obstacle. In that sense, Jonathan Lehmann's story is no different than several other thousands of players across the nation. However, unlike many of his peers, his proactive approach garnered the attention he was looking for. The offensive linemen talked to DevilsDigest about his recruiting journey to ASU and his expectations for his freshman season as a Sun Devil.

Sam Houston, Houston, and Rice were some of the schools that extended scholarship offers to Jonathan Lehman early on. The Giddings, Tex. resident was a bit disheartened that more Big 12 schools didn't give him much consideration. "I was a little disappointed," he said. "I always knew I could play at that level. I just wanted a chance to prove I could. But I had some offers, and all I wanted to do is just play somewhere. It has always been a dream of mine to play college football, so even if I went to one the schools that offered me I would be completely happy."

The offensive lineman, who was his team's captain during his senior year, decided to take matters into his own hands, and start marketing himself to some of the bigger programs he coveted attention from. "Because I was from a small town, I really wasn't recruited heavily through out my high school career," he commented. "When my senior year was over, I took all the game tape I had and spent 6.5 hours making a highlight film. I sent out that tape to 20 colleges, and about 90% of the schools called me back."

The Sun Devils did have some minimal contact with Lehmann before receiving that tape, and that was thanks to former offensive line coach Jeff Grimes who was friendly with Giddings high school head coach Derek Fitzhenry. Nonetheless, the recruiting process between both sides really started to pick up steam in late December. "The first time I talked to an ASU coach on the phone was a few days before Christmas," recalled Lehmann. "I talked to coach Grimes, and he said that they found out about me and were interested to know more about me. The first time I met an ASU coach in person was coach Guy in January…I was very impressed both of them. They were very respectful and professional people."

ASU offered a scholarship a week before his January official visit. It was a trip he immensely enjoyed, and as a result he committed to the Sun Devils at the end of his visit. "The facilities were awesome," he said of his trip to Tempe. "I liked the weather; it's drier than Texas. I liked the winning tradition, and I feel the next few years we'll be very good because we have a lot of talent."

The Sun Devil freshman to-be was actually a standout tight end and defensive end. He was named all-District as a senior at both positions, and the Austin American Statesman named him one of the top five tight ends in the state of Texas. Having said all this, how does he feel about his position change to offensive lineman? "It's gonna be a good fit," he explained. "I bulked up to about 300 lbs. (was listed at 267 when visiting here this past January) and I feel I got faster and quicker. I have a good work ethic, and I worked hard to get that way. I'm doing a lot agility work, and working on my feet. I'm not totally satisfied, but I feel pretty comfortable with my performance in this weight."

"I still need to get stronger," Lehmann continued. "But I do feel that it's a good position for me. High school coaches I talked to, feel that this was gonna be a good fit. Most schools recruited me as a tight end or defensive lineman, but I feel that this is a good position for me. As long as we can win games, I'll play in whatever position that helps us win games."

As he goes through the transformation of his body, the Giddings product will undoubtedly be spending long hours in ASU's weight room. When he compares the facilities in his hometown, Lehmann is truly thankful for his good fortune. "When ASU sent me a media guide and it said that Sports Illustrated rated it the #1 weight room in the country, I was very impressed," he said. "In Giddings, we just updated our population sign to 5,000 (smile). Our weight room is a tin shed with one door and one window, and no air condition. So I was impressed with what ASU had."

Low recruiting interest or not, most of the attention the lineman received was from schools in his home state and neighboring ones. ASU was easily the furthest school from home to recruit him. How does he anticipate his adjustment to living thousands of miles from home? "At first there was a little of hesitation," he replied. "I didn't know how I would adjust being so far from home. But after being there and meeting all the coaches and players, Jean Boyd the director of the life skills program, I really felt comfortable. Even though I was going far away, I knew I would be OK because I fit in so well."

Furthermore, Lehmann does realize the benefits that playing away from home brings. "I know that this experience will help me mature and grow up," he remarked. "That's one thing I thought about. I knew if I went away from home I would have to take care of myself, and rely on myself for everything I need. There's no calling mom (smile)."

Like most high school offensive linemen, he lists run blocking as his strongest suit. "I need to work on pass blocking," said Lehmann. "As a tight end I didn't do a lot of blocking - I ran routes. I always feel there's stuff about my game I can fix. I'll never be complacent. I don't want to be second best."

Not only is the lineman academically qualified, but he was also named academic all-state as a senior. Additionally, he had a 3.9 grade-point average in high school, and was a member of the National Honor Society and the Beta Club. Lehmann plans to come to Tempe in August, and currently he's spending the sweltering Giddings summer days conditioning according to the workout plan the ASU's strength coaches have sent him. "I'm getting adjusted to the lifts, " he said. "It's a little different than high school. But the results I've seen so far have been outstanding. I've been very impressed with the program. I work out four hours each day. I do the whole program and add a little of my own."

Lehmann was told by the Sun Devils that he will redshirt his freshman year, and he shared with us his feelings on this issue. "It's gonna be though," he explained. "Other schools told me I could be on the two-deep in my first year. I think it will be good for me. I still feel I need to get bigger, stronger, faster and learn the offense. But it's tough being on the sideline and not helping your team win." Something tells us that this self-motivated individual will find his way between the lines sooner rather than later in his ASU career.

Recruit Profile


Jonathan Lehmann

High School

Giddings High School (Giddings, Tex.)







Date of Birth



Austin, Tex.


"Everyone just called me by my last name – Lehmann."

Favorite TV Show

"NFL Hard Knocks."

Favorite Movie

"Varsity Blues."

Favorite Singer/Band

"George Strait.""

Favorite Food

"Rib Eye Steak."

Favorite Drink

"Sweet Tea."

Favorite Athlete

"Michael Jordan."

Favorite Pro Team

"Dallas Cowboys."

Person you most admire

"My mom. She's always been there for me, and shown me how hard work can pay off. She has worked very hard to give me the best life possible."

First Football Memory

"In my sophomore year, we were playing Cameron who was #4 in the state for the district championship. We beat them in overtime, and the crown ran onto the field after the game. "

One Thing most people don't know about me

"A lot of people think I'm very outgoing, but I'm shy."

Why did you choose ASU?

"The coaches were awesome and treated me with a lot of respect."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"If the NFL doesn't work out, I'd like to see myself as a successful business man. That's it. I don't think I'll be ready to get married yet (smile)."

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