JUCO DB Plans to Return to Sun Devils

Personal reasons forced Chris Baloney to quit the football team just days before training camp began. Personal relationships with the ASU coaches and players have kept his desire to don the maroon and gold very much alive. Devils Digest talked to the College of the Sequoias standout about his absence plans to reunite with his teammates.

We caught up with the 6-0 196 defensive back who was back in Central California and was not sitting idly during his hiatus. "I'm just taking some online classes, to keep up with my studies and make sure I don't get behind when I come to ASU," said Baloney (pronounced BAL-uh-nay) who was actually in Tempe going through the off-season workout program, before he had to leave Tempe. "I left like 2-3 days before camp started. It was an ongoing situation that really started to stress me out. I couldn't take care of it being in Arizona, so I had to go back home and take care of it. I told the coaches that I had some family issues to take care of and that I'll be back in January."

The cornerback who signed a letter of intent with the Sun Devils in February, was named all-Houston as a senior at Langham Creek High School, and had 11 interceptions and five touchdowns (two defensive) during that campaign. While at the College of the Sequoias Baloney was listed by College Football News as the No. 9 junior college cornerback in the nation. He was clocked at the 40-yard dash running a 4.43, and collected six interceptions and 140 tackles in his junior college career. Baloney was being heavily recruited by Washington, Washington State, Texas Tech, San Diego State, Boise State, and Wisconsin.

Baloney has been keeping in tough with linebacker Jamar Williams, his former teammate at Langham Creek, as well as fellow JUCO transfer and Sun Devil cornerback Keno Walter-White. In essence, he always felt like he was still part of the team. "It was real disappointing not being there," he claimed. "When we played LSU and USC, those were big games. I was watching them on TV. saying ‘Man, I should be there right now.' I wanted to be there covering receivers. If I was on the team, things would probably be the same way. But when I talked to Jamar and Keno, I told them to keep their head up and keep on playing hard."

"I'm also keeping in contact with (ASU recruiting coordinator and running backs) Coach Nordquist, making sure I don't lose touch," Baloney continued . "I also spoke to (ASU cornerbacks) Coach Carrier a few times too. The coaches were always behind me letting me take care of the business I had to take care of." He added that he was going to talk to the ASU coaches about signing a new letter of intent, and that he believed that in terms of eligibility he had two years to play two.

Baloney is known for his versatility, and can play both the safety and cornerback position. He did state that while here this past summer he was salted to play the later. "With all the injuries we had with R.J. Oliver, Josh (Golden) and Chad (Green), the coaches wanted me at corner. It never mattered to me if I was playing safety or corner, as long as I'm in the field helping my team."

There's always a natural concern how one would be perform after being out of football for a year. The cornerback has a positive outlook and attitude on this specific topic. "I'm always in football mode," he remarked. "I'm always running around, juking a coffee table or something (smile). But I've been hitting the weights, doing some conditioning… I'm gonna have from January until August to get the system down, I'll have spring practice. I'm actually gonna have more time to prepare than I did before when I only came in the summer. I want to get in there for next semester, get the system down and help the team do big things next year. I'm not worried, I'll be all right and ready to go."

Baloney said that he intends to come to the valley after the holidays, and that there's a good chance his mother will move here as well. Technically, he is a free agent from a recruiting standpoint, but he sounds like a player that has his mind set. "I can now go wherever I want to go, but I made the commitment to be there," he said. "I really like it there, the coaches are great, they have a great program, and that's where I want to be. I'm not worried about any schools trying to contact me – I'm a Sun Devil."

Sun Devil Source Top Stories