ASU Football’s Strong To Forgo Senior Season, Enter NFL Draft

TEMPE – Arizona State University redshirt junior wide receiver Jaelen Strong will forgo his senior season and enter the 2015 National Football League Draft.
Strong, a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award and First-Team All-Pac-12 honoree, garnered a spot on five All-America teams in 2014.

Statement from Strong
“This has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life.  I’ve spoken to my family and we feel it is best for me to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft.  
"First I would like to thank Coach Graham and the staff for believing in me from day one. I’d like to thank the Sun Devil Nation, the fans, and all of the people who work behind the scenes that I encounter everyday that have been like a family to me. Most importantly, I would like to thank my teammates, my brothers, for having my back through thick and thin. Finally, I’d like to thank Jean Boyd and his academic staff for their dedication to Sun Devil Football. My two years at Arizona State University have produced the best experiences of my life.
“Again, I would like to thank everyone who played a part in my success. I am very blessed to have them in my life and I am grateful for that.  
“This is my last week with this team and our focus is on the Duke Blue Devils and the Sun Bowl. We want to get this 10th win of the season.
“Once a Sun Devil, always a Sun Devil!"
Statement from Head Coach Todd Graham
"Jaelen's enormous impact was felt from the first day he stepped on the practice field with us more than 16 months ago. His work ethic, attention to detail and overall football IQ are just a few of his attributes that make him such a special talent.

"It has been a great pleasure to watch him grow into the young man he has become - a leader off the field and a giver in his community.

"We look forward to one final game together and we wish him luck as he gets set to embark on the next chapter of his football career."
Strong’s 2014 Accolades
Phil Steele All-American (3rd team)
Sporting News All-American (2nd team)
Sports Illustrated All-American (2nd team)
CBS Sports All-American (2nd team) All-American
Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist
First-Team All-Pac-12
Phil Steele First-Team All-Pac-12
Walter Camp Player of the Week (Oct. 4)
Strong leads the team with 75 catches for 1,062 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this season. He ranks in the top 17 in the nation and top five in the Pac-12 in receiving yards and touchdowns, and receiving yards and receptions per game.

Strong is averaging 96.5 yards per game in 2014 and 87.4 in his career, which is more than nine yards higher than the school’s current record holder. He was recently named to the CBS Sports All-America team as well.

He recorded 202 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 10 receptions, including the game-winning Hail Mary catch, against USC, and tied his career high with 12 receptions against UCLA to become the first receiver in school history with 12 or more catches in two games. He also became the first Sun Devil since Keith Poole in 1996 to catch a touchdown pass in five consecutive games during a stretch from Oct. 4 to Nov. 8.

He has 2,184 career receiving yards, the eighth most in school history, and is just the third receiver in school history to cross the 1,000-yard mark in consecutive seasons. His 150 career receptions rank seventh in school history and he currently holds the fifth spot on the school’s list for most receptions in a single season.

Strong has four 100-yard receiving games this season and 11 in his career, which rank as the third most in school history behind Shaun McDonald (12) and Derek Hagan (18).

He has 17 touchdown catches in his two-year career and is just the 10th receiver in school history to record double-digit touchdown receptions in a single season.
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