WR Looks Forward to Playing Home State School

Mike Jones will visit San Diego. Ironically, once there the Texas native will play a team he's very familiar with. The wide receiver stated that although he's a "country boy" he won't be handing snakes in the San Diego Zoo. Yet, he's looking forward to tangle with some Longhorns next week.

"Ever since I was little Texas is the school I wanted to go to," said Mike Jones. "When I was in high school, I watched them almost every single weekend. Now getting a chance to play against them – I'm so excited. We're still a little disappointed abut not being in a BCS game, but hopefully we'll show people that we did deserve to be in a BCS game."

Even though it takes a little time to get back in the groove after a two week layoff, Jones was anxious to get back to practice. "Sometimes you don't want that long layoff, but It's good to rest up," he noted. "It's a great time of year, because we don't have to worry about anything but come out here and get better, work on the game plan…and after this you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want. Hang out with friends or do Christmas shopping."

Jones has been fortunate to be on a team that has been to a bowl game for three, going on four, consecutive years. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that going to bowl this year certainly has a different feel. "It's a lot different because it's the biggest bowl we played in," he explained, "and we're playing my home state, so I can't wait for that. I've played with a couple of guys there, and I'm sure they'll some talking back and forth."

Jones has certainly a lot to brag about this year.

The junior tallied just three scores coming into this season. His eight touchdowns puts him second on the team in scoring, trailing only kicker Thomas Weber. A starter in all 12 games this year, he's also second in receptions (38) and receiving yards (662). What does the wide receiver see as the reason for him having his best year ever?

"It might have been the coaches," he replied. "They saw that we're hungry and want the ball, want to make plays. They did the best they could to give us the ball. And we took advantage of it. As a whole we had schemes that have helped us to be better."

ASU's wide receivers Coach Eric Yarber (pictured), is just as complimentary towards his pupil.

"He has played very well," said Yarber. "He's a polished receiver, and just like all the other wide receivers – he doesn't care who gets the credit. He's made plays when he was asked to. I challenged him to give better effort in practice, better effort in games and he stepped up to the challenge and I'm satisfied with his progress."

At 6-4 208, he's by far the most physical in his position group. It's definitely a luxury for Yarber to have a wide receiver with that stature. However, ASU's WR's coach added that "With all of those guys, I preach to them no matter how big you are always be physical. When you're running routes or in a bump ‘n run, always be physical."

Five of Jones' touchdowns came in the first four games of the season, and then he found the end zone just three times in the next eight contests. Yarber didn't view that as a sharp drop play. "He made the most of his opportunities," Yarber commented. "The passes to him tapered down because of coverages."

Yarber stated that his unit will have the quite the challenge against the Longhorns' secondary, which is "athletic, fast, great change of direction group."

Jones concurs and heaps high praise as well. "They're probably one of the best teams we played all year," he said. "They're very talented all the way around. They have a lot of speed and maybe remind me of USC's defense. They don't have too much experience, but they have enough."

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