Devils Fill Important Need with First 2005 Verbal

Shannon Jones, brother of former Sun Devil defensive tackle Shane Jones, was naturally very familiar with Arizona State and all it had to offer. He told DevilsDigest that even though he received no pressure to commit to ASU, he also believed there was no sense in waiting any longer to pull the trigger.

"I felt it was a good time to commit," said the 6-3 295 Shannon Jones. "My brother is still there at ASU (studying for his degree). I'm real familiar with the program, and I like the school." The defensive tackle said that he started receiving interest from the Devils during his senior year at Foothill high school in Sacramento, as well as from other Pac-10 schools. "A lot of schools were writing me because my coach knew everybody and he gave me good exposure," he commented. "But because I wasn't a qualifier I had to go to junior college."

Jones found much success at Sierra junior college. His team went undefeated and won their conference championship. The defensive tackle recorded seven sacks and was all-conference honorable mention.

The Sun Devils' newest commit said that he wasn't recruited the same time as Shane was (when he played at Sacramento City College), but he still did get to learn quite a bit about the maroon and gold through his brother's experiences. "I got to know the program a lot when they recruited Shane," he explained. "I just fell in love with the coaches and had a strong relationship with them. I went to some ASU games when Shane played there. I liked how the coaches would always push the players, and still have a good relationship with them. I really liked the facilities. Tempe is nice college town."

ASU started to show serious interest following his freshman year at Sierra, and a written offer came in the mail a couple of months ago. "They were my first offer," Jones remarked. "My coach only told me about some of schools that offered, but the only other offer I know about is Oregon. My coach didn't tell me about all the schools interested in me. I guess he didn't want me to get a big head (smile). He told me about Arizona State because he knew that I would find out anyway from my brother." Arizona is reportedly another school that had offered, and most of the Pac-10 along with Nebraska are believed to also show serious interest in the defensive tackle. ASU's defensive line coach Ted Monachino, who also recruited brother Shane, was the Sun Devil coach most involved in Shannon's recruitment.

The obvious question that arises from Shannon's commitment is how much did his ex-Sun Devil brother influence his decision. According the Shannon, he did have some effect but it was more in an inspirational sense. "Shane is someone I look up to," he explained. "I was always trying to mimic him. He always pushed me to do better in class and in football. He was just a great big brother that motivated me and helped me through a lot. Shane always told me that it's my choice, and that I shouldn't come there because he went there. He told me to be my own man. "

Jones is expecting a big year from himself and his team, despite the fact that he's going through a role adjustment. "They switched me to three technique from nose tackle," he said. "So I'm still learning that position. Last year I got double-teamed a lot, but I'm getting better on the one-on-ones. I'm just trying to get stronger and faster." He added that he currently bench-presses 345 lbs.

The defensive tackle plans to meet with his advisor this week to see if he can graduate in December and become a mid-year transfer. Jones didn't use his redshirt year, so he will have three years to play two. Aside from the obvious excitement in his household who's sending another player to the maroon and gold, is the defensive tackle honored to be his team's first verbal commitment of the 2005 class? "Most definitely," he exclaimed. "I didn't even know I was the first player to commit, so that's real special."

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