"My parents have been ASU season-ticket holders for at least ten years," said the 6-3 310 Jon Hargis. "It was my dream growing up to play for ASU, and now it's realistic. It really made my recruiting process easy. I clicked with the ASU coaches really fast. I was contacted after my sophomore year by (former running backs) Coach Nordquist. I was pretty impressed with him and what he had to say about ASU. He took a liking to me very quickly."
Just like with any other top prospect in the Grand Canyon state, the two archrivals Arizona State and Arizona were battling quite a bit over the services of the defensive lineman. Even though he grew up as a Sun Devil fan, he never dismissed the Wildcats initially. "The U of A coaches were really hard people and always wanted an answer very quickly," recalled Hargis. "Every U of A coach wanted me to commit on the spot. ASU coaches never tried to pressure me. I don't think what U of A did turned me off or anything like that. I just visited both schools and liked ASU better. Staying close to home was real important."
In addition to his genuine love for ASU, Hargis added that being part of a squad that has attracted high caliber local players was a great privilege. "It's really special," he admitted. "You look at all the names that played here and it's really cool to be part of ASU. ASU has established themselves as a powerhouse school, and it's an honor to play for them. The talent in Arizona has really improved, so it's nice to see ASU get those players."
Hargis was selected to The Arizona Republic's All-Arizona team in both his senior and junior year, was named to the All-East Valley Region team the past three seasons, and was declared the East Valley Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005. Last season, he collected 81 tackles, four quarterback sacks and one fumble recovery. Hargis pointed out that his strong points were his quickness and how he moves around the field. Although he admitted that he needed to get stronger, he's already up to 310 pounds, benches up to 335 pounds, and all that without losing any quickness.
At Red Mountain High School in Mesa he also played on the offensive line, and remarked that "It doesn't matter where I play. Whatever position I fit in the best is OK." After attending some of the team's practices, he did get a better feel as to what he can expect in his college tenure. "I see myself fitting in the defense," commented Hargis. "I've been going to spring practice the last two years. I learned a lot and got a feel to what I need to do to make it. I've seen two different coaches, coach Monachino and coach Stretz, with different styles. I don't know if I will able to jump in right away and play, but I know for sure that I'm gonna work hard."
Hargis' hard work isn't limited to the gridiron. His effort in the classroom has also brought him some recognition. Recently, he was named as the Len Kotsur Award recipient, an award given by the Mesa School District for the overall most outstanding student. Hargis, who has a learning disability, has already qualified academically to play for the Sun Devils. "Len Kotsur was a police officer that was killed in a car accident," said Hargis on the award. "He was really big in supporting special education, and teachers nominate a student that had made an impact in the special education department. I was really surprised to get this award." Hargis has always set an example by being open about his learning disability, and added that ASU's Disability Resource Center was a big reason why he chose ASU. The defensive tackle has also participated in the Best Buddies program which befriends individuals with autism.
Jon Hargis always mentions how it has been a dream of his to play on Saturdays at Sun Devil stadium. Looking at his accomplishments and his character, ASU fans should feel equally as fortunate to have such a fine individual represent their football team.
Date of birth
Favorite TV show
"Anything on ESPN."
"Friday Night Lights."
"I listen to all kinds of music, mainly Country."
Favorite pro team
Person you most admire
"My parents. They're hard working family."
First football memory
"My first Varsity game. I was a freshman and we lost that game. I blocked my first extra point."
One thing most people don't know about me
"I like to design landscapes."
Why did you choose ASU?
"I wanted to stay close to home."
Where do you want to be in ten years?
"Hopefully playing in the NFL. If that doesn't work out, be a high school or college coach."
Introducing the 2006 Class: Jon Hargis
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