Fifteen years after he last wore a Sun Devil uniform and eight years after his death, Pat Tillman remains an integral part of Arizona State Sun Devil football.
On game days, ASU players take the field by running out of Tillman Tunnel. A PT42 patch, which signifies Tillman’s initials and Sun Devil uniform number, adorns ASU’s jerseys.
Head coach Todd Graham is making Tillman’s legacy an even bigger part of his current program.
Junior safety Alden Darby became the first Sun Devil ever to wear the new #42 camouflaged Tillman practice jersey during Tuesday’s session.
“We call it PT42, it’s a person who embodies all the things that he did,” Graham said. “To earn that jersey is really hard to do, and Alden Darby earned it, because every single day, he’s brought it in the classroom, the community, on the field, off the field. I think he’s having an All-Pac-12 season. He’s just been phenomenal.”
Darby ranks fourth on the Sun Devil roster with 41 total tackles, while adding 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
“I felt really proud of myself,” Darby said following practice Tuesday. “It just reminded me that hard work and effort really does pay off — and people do recognize it, it doesn’t go unrecognized for sure.”
Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to this report