Saturday’s Sun Bowl will be the final college game for Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong.
The junior from Philadelphia made it official Monday; he’s forgoing his senior season in Tempe and making himself eligible for the NFL Draft in May.
“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,” Strong said in a statement.
Strong has been one of ASU’s best offensive players in his two years on campus, catching 150 passes for 2,184 yards and 17 touchdowns.
This season, Strong led the Sun Devils with 75 catches for 1,062 yards and 10 touchdowns. His last-second touchdown catch against USC, which is now known as the “Jael Mary,” will go down as one of the best catches in school history.
“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,” head coach Todd Graham said. “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 was a First Team All-Pac-12 selection and earned Second Team All-American honors from Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports.
In his latest 2015 mock draft, ESPN’s Todd McShay projects Strong to be a first-round pick and the fifth receiver taken, behind Alabama’s Amari Cooper, Louisville’s Devante Parker, Michigan’s Devin Funchess and West Virginia’s Kevin White.