Introducing the 2005 Class: Shannon Jones

There may not be many certainties in life, but for a few years now Shannon Jones felt like he was destined to play college ball at ASU. Through the recruitment and eventual signing of former Sun Devil and Shannon's brother Shane, the defensive tackle's familiarity with the maroon and gold was head and shoulders above any other program pursuing him. DevilsDigest talked to the first verbal commitment of the 2005 class about his longtime love affair with Arizona State.

Shannon Jones, a 6-2 300 defensive tackle from Antelope, Calif., said that even though the Devils were recruiting Shane Jones several years ago, the seeds of his recruiting, inadvertently or not, were already being planted. "I went on my brother's recruiting trip," he said. "That was the first time I really got to know the coaches and get real comfortable with them. They made me feel that I was part of the family even though they were recruiting my brother. I guess you can say they were kind of recruiting me a little too, but it was all about Shane on that trip."

Whether it was Shane's recruitment or just other factors, Shannon received interest from ASU while he was enjoying a standout career at Foothill high school. During his senior year there, he collected 88 tackles and 13 sacks, and even scored seven touchdowns as a fullback. Jones mentioned ASU, Oregon, Oregon State, and Utah as some of the prominent programs that were recruiting him at the time.

However, the defensive tackle was a victim to some regrettable decisions early in high school. "At the begining of high school I fell off with my grades," recalled Jones. "When I realized that school was important I studied harder, but all those freshman grades came back and hurt me. So I knew I wouldn't qualify. If I could do it all over, I would take my studies seriously my freshman year."

Thus, when he realized that he wasn't a qualifier, Jones sought the junior college route and settled on Sierra in the Mid-Empire conference. "There are a lot of junior colleges that are closer to me than Sierra," he commented. "But they were coming off a 10-1 season, they have a real nice campus, and they were a lot more interested in me than other schools. But I knew wherever I went I had to take care of my studies, ball out on the field, so I can go to the next level and that's ASU."

To say that the decision to play for the Wolverines proved to be the right one would be an understatement. "I was 22-0 in junior college," he exclaimed. "It's pretty special never losing even one game the whole time I was there." Naturally, Sierra won two consecutive conference championships while Jones was playing there. The two-year starter tallied 132 tackles, 16 sacks, 41 tackles for loss, and five forced fumbles during his tenure there.

With his fine play and all-league honors, Jones once again became a coveted prospect following his freshman year. "I think Arizona was the first one to offer me a scholarship," he remarked. "ASU offered right after that. Nebraska and Oregon offered me too. " The fact that the Sun Devils' hated archrival was pursuing Shannon, begs the question if older brother Shane was threatening him to not even entertain the thought of going to Tucson. "(Laughs) Not at all. He knew I fell in love with ASU. He was just saying that it's up to me, and not to pick ASU just because he went there."

Jones committed in August of last year, and in his mind there was no reason to delay the inevitable. "I really didn't have anybody else in mind," he said. "So I felt like because I was going to go there anyway, I might as well just make my decision and ease the recruiting process. I didn't want other schools calling me and stuff like that. Making a decision early just made everything a whole lot easier."

Granted, having his older brother don the maroon and gold did go a long way in helping his decision, but it was the also witnessing his experiences that Shane had before and after signing with the Sun Devils that created a favorable impression. "When schools starting recruiting you there's a lot of questions you're gonna have," said Jones. "Shane already asked a lot of the questions I was gonna ask anyway, so I knew a lot of the answers. The coaching staff made me feel comfortable with everything. They didn't leave anything up in the air. After what I saw Shane go through I knew that ASU is where I wanted to be. The way they accepted him, there was no fake buisness and I liked that."

An early summer commitment does usually deprive one from taking recruiting trips. The defensive tackle could care less. "ASU was the only visit I took," he commented. "I knew that's where I wanted to go. Other schools were wanted me to see their programs, but my coach told them I was ASU all the way." Was there ever a temptation to check out any of the other schools that were recruiting him? "Nebraska was more tempting than Arizona, but all the other schools that were recruiting me seemed like a step down from Arizona State."

Shannon is the youngest of seven brothers, and as is the case with many big families, the bond was a very strong one. "I was never picked on because I was the youngest," he said. "They were always trying to teach me about the game. That's why I was a step ahead of players who didn't have older brothers who played football. I look up to all of them, and looking at them growing up you know what to do and not to do." Despite all these words of harmony he did admit that: "Being the youngest in a big family makes you tougher because you always have to fight for everything (smile)."

Jones has 18 credits to complete his AA degree at Sierra, and feels good about his chances of qualifying. "I'm 75% sure I'll have my degree in May. I'm gonna take some online courses too." Not only does he have his internal motivation to guide him, but also the desire to successfully walk in the footsteps of brother Shane. "I was always trying to mimic him," remarked Shannon. "My brother had to work real hard to get to ASU and I know I have to do the same thing. I saw how people looked up to my brother for getting it done, because it's very hard to get a scholarship and a lot of people don't get to do it. 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."

Jones, who has three years to play two, is open to the prospect of redshirting. If nothing else, because of his own experiences paying football. "The whole JC process was humbling," he said. "Out of high school you get recruited by a lot of teams, and you were dominating just because you're bigger than everyone in high school. It made me have a big head."

"Coming to a JC," Jones continued, "you have a lot of players that are just as good as you, and didn't have a chance to go to the next level yet. That just made me work harder, because I wasn't the cream of the crop. I had to work my way up again. So I'm definitely ready to do that again in Division I. I've been waiting my whole life for this opportunity. It's a dream come true. I can't wait to get down there and get started with a real big program." And the Sun Devils are undoubtedly waiting for another member of the Jones family to excel on the defensive line.

Recruit Profile


Shannon Jones

Junior College








Date of Birth



Sacramento, CA


"I don't know if you can write this, but it was Big ‘ol Bad (backside)"

Favorite TV Show


Favorite Movie


Favorite Singer/Band

"Carl Thomas and Outkast."

Favorite Food

"My dad's smothered fried chicken."

Favorite Drink


Favorite Athlete

"Ray Lewis"

Favorite Pro Team

"Pittsburgh Steelers"

Person you most admire

"Can't put my finger on one. It's probably my whole family. If I had to pick out one, I would probably pick my mom. She taught me to stick with what I'm doing and everything will work out. That's how she raised all my brothers."

First Football Memory

"The first week of Pop Warner. It was hell week, and we were doing up downs, sprints, and getting conditioning. I was only eight years old. I guess it sounds harder than it really was (smile)."

One Thing most people don't know about me

"My love for music. I like a lot of different styles. A lot of people would think I just like Rap or R&B, but I like to listen to classical music when I do my homework or go to sleep. My half brothers like rock and play the guitar, so I listen to that too."

Why did you choose ASU?

"The coaching staff."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"I definitely want to be in the NFL getting paid for what I love to do. If not that, I'd like to be a producer in the music business."

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