Speak of the Devils Podcast Sitdown Series - Jaelen Strong
An ASU legend opens up.
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- It’s one of those “Where were you when” moments for any Sun Devil.
The Jael Mary is one of the most iconic plays in Arizona State history, but it was just one of many big moments for the play’s namesake, Jaelen Strong. He went from a junior college transfer to one of most productive players in school history. His future was bright...but injuries and some humbling lessons cut short his NFL career. There were some hard times, but Jaelen battled, grew, and healed—both physically and mentally. He’s since become a strong advocate for the importance of mental health, something that so often in sports gets tossed to the side or is viewed as weakness, rather than the strength that it is. He also mentoring and coaching the next generation of receivers here in the Valley, passing on his on-field techniques and hard-earned off-field life lessons. And yet, as one of the best players ASU has seen in recent years, the relationship between him and the program is...basically non-existent, which echoes what I’ve heard from a few other notable former players.
On this episode, Jaelen and I look back at his incredible ASU career, the hard truths and painful lessons from his time in the NFL, why mentoring matters, the critical importance of mental health, the state of his relationship with ASU, what he’d like to see from his alma mater towards former players, and so much more.
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Recent Sitdown Series Episodes
Defensive Back Jordan Clark: Jordan and I discuss an eventful offseason, how the secondary stacks up after losing four starters, breakout players to watch for, his growth as a Sun Devil, the team’s growing chip on their shoulder, and much more.
Linebackers Coach Chris Claiborne: The former All-American breaks down the key players in his group, recruiting in the NIL age, his development as a young coach, and much more.
Offensive Line Coach Mike Cavanaugh: We discuss the position battles, trench technique, recruiting linemen, breakout players, and much more.
Strength & Conditioning Coach Joe Connolly: Connolly discusses the team’s gains this offseason, how leadership is forged in the weight room, the process of developing athletes, latest trends and new frontiers in sports science, and much more.
Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Wade: Wade discusses the lessons from last year, dealing with departures, breakout candidates, building rapport with a new quarterback, beating his alma mater (yet again), and much more.
Running Backs Coach Shaun Aguano: He discusses the 2022 stable of backs, their roles in the new offense, the pressure of helping a developing passing game, how NIL and the portal have changed coaching, strengthening local recruiting, how he’s evolved as a coach, and much more.
Athletic Director Ray Anderson: On this episode, Anderson goes in depth on ASU’s NIL strategy, the status of the NCAA investigation, key wins over Arizona, critical Pac-12 and NCAA issues, the next major changes in college sports, and much more.
Defensive Line Coach Robert Rodriguez: We discuss his group of linemen, how NIL and the portal have changed coaching, recruiting, how he’s evolved as a coach, and much more.
Defensive Coordinator Donnie Henderson: We discuss this new tenure as Edwards’ DC, why he came back, scheme changes, the returning and new personnel, spring practice goals, and more.
Offensive Coordinator Glenn Thomas: We discuss why he took the job, scheme, philosophy, playcalling, QBs, revitalizing the passing game, and much more.
Defensive Backs Coach Aaron Fletcher: We discuss his coaching journey, his influences and philosophies, playing DB in an era of offense, the 2022 Devils DBs and much more.
Head Coach Herm Edwards: We dive into the issues of the 2021 season, his staff’s turnover, the issues facing recruiting, how the 2022 squad is shaping up, how the NCAA investigation will impact the program and his legacy, and much more.
Defensive Lineman B.J. Green: The walk-on turned sack leader discusses his impressive debut year, why he passed up scholarship offers to walk-on across the country, robotics, and more.
Inside Sun Devil Sports Medicine: Dr. Anikar Chhabra and Dr. Joanne Vogel give you an inside look the wholistic approach ASU takes regarding the well-being and recovery of its student athletes.
Head women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne: Heading into her 25th season at the helm, CTT discusses her motivations, the lessons from the COVID year, the importance of mental health, the exciting new players and experienced returners, expectations, and much more.
Assistant basketball coach Joel Justus: ASU’s newest coach discusses his time at Kentucky, learning from John Calipari, coaching with Bobby Hurley and more.
Guard Marreon Jackson: The reigning MAC Player of the Year discusses his road to Tempe, making a better life through hoops, and more.
Forward Kimani Lawrence: The veteran discusses why he came back, the value of loyalty, being a positive role model, what went wrong last year, the influx of new talent, and much more.
Hall of Famer DB Mike Haynes: Haynes discusses his unlikely road to ASU, the tough love from Frank Kush, the desire he had to play WR, his favorite memories as a Sun Devil, his work today helping players transition out of the game, raising awareness healthy living, and more.
Hall of Fame Safety David Fulcher: The legend discusses his illustrious Sun Devil career, what his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame means, his charitable work, his time with the Bengals, his views on Herm Edwards and the current Sun Devils, and much more.
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