Hailing from Pierce Community College, JUCO transfer wide receiver Jaelen Strong has a lot to prove heading into his first season as part of the Arizona State football team.
One of Todd Graham’s top recruits of the 2013 class, the 6’4’’, 200-pound Strong is expected to provide quarterback Taylor Kelly with an immediate weapon on the outside. Considering his size-speed combination and the fact that Jamal Miles and Rashad Ross are no longer on the roster, Strong will immediately be expected to create big plays and big yards.
What Strong brings to the table is an outstanding combination of size and speed that makes him dangerous against any defense. He’s big enough to shrug off tacklers but has enough explosiveness in the open field to leave defensive backs in his dust. While he’s still raw and needs more work on the technical aspects of his game, the physical tools are obviously present.
Last season, Strong hauled in 67 passes for 1,263 yards and 15 touchdowns. His biggest game came against Victor Valley CC, when he snagged 10 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns. He was one of the most feared wide receivers in the Southern California Football Association, consistently wreaking havoc on opposing secondaries. The production (three three-touchdown games, two 200-plus-yard games) speaks for itself.
The transition could take some time for Strong, a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com. If he can catch on quick and develop some early chemistry with Kelly, though, there’s no reason to believe that he can’t be putting up big numbers by the midpoint of the 2013 campaign.
Graham found an exciting talent in Strong. If all goes as planned, he’ll be victimizing PAC-12 defenses before 2013 is over.