ASU Commits Enjoy Official Trip

Keegan Herring and Shannon Jones talked to DevilsDigest following their official trips to Tempe this past weekend.

"I was just having fun with my teammates," said Keegan Herring of his visit. "They taught me that there was a time to have fun, like back in the dorms, and a time to be serious, like in practice. When practice comes by, they change real quick and focus on football." Herring added that he's learning the importance of being not only physically strong, but also mentally tough to make a smooth transition from high school football to college.

Herring who verbaled close to two months ago, did admit that he's still being recruited by other schools, but claimed that his commitment is a solid one. "I just want to represent my state," he said. "They try and recruit me but it doesn't work (smile). I hope they stop recruiting me (smile)." Herring mentioned Oregon and Washington as the main schools that are still pursuing him.

Being that he's already a commit, the running back is doing his job to lure fellow local high school stars to join him in playing for the maroon and gold. "Yeah, I'm taking to Chris McGaha and Mekell Wesley and trying to recruit them."

Shannon Jones, brother of former Sun Devil Shane, was actually the first verbal on the board for 2005 back in late August. Even though he was quite familiar with the program and the campus, he was extremely impressed during his official visit. "I know the area already," he said, "but this visit brought to life a lot of things I should appreciate about the university. I wasn't surprised by anything, but because I haven't been there in a while it was a good reminder about all the things that it has to offer." Jones was hosted by another Sacramento native and former JC and ASU teammate of his brother – Ishmael Thrower.

The academics at ASU are one aspect that the defensive tackle really took to heart during his trip. "The team stays behind you not only in football, but also academics. They have programs for everything. It just seems impossible to mess up academically at Arizona State." Speaking of academics, Jones said that he's on track to get his AA degree from Sierra in May.

For the most part, the defensive tackle flew under the radar his freshman year. It seems like once he verbaled to the Sun Devils, that he commanded more respect than ever before. "I had a pretty good season," he stated. "I didn't do as well as I hoped to because last year nobody knew who I was, and this year I was getting a lot of double teams (smile). I couldn't go one-on-one and pick the other team apart." Sierra, crowned the 2004 Mid-Empire Conference Champions finished undefeated at 11-0, including a victory over Chabot in the Capital Shrine Bowl in Sacramento 31-16.

For a player that has been exposed for a few years to all that ASU has to offer, it seems like the long journey is nearing fast to a happy conclusion. "Before when I visited the school, I felt like this is something I can look forward to it. I saw my brother doing it, and now that I'm the one in the position ready to go, I'm a lot more excited than I was before."

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