Jake Plummer gives speech to ASU football team ahead of spring game, Pat’s Run

Apr 13, 2023, 3:56 PM

Former Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer addresses the team after a spring ball practice on Ap...

Former Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer addresses the team after a spring ball practice on April 13, 2023. (Twitter Photo/@RisingSunDevils)

(Twitter Photo/@RisingSunDevils)

TEMPE — “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”

Yes, that is a line from the movie The Sandlot, but it still holds true today, especially when the likes of legendary Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer addressed the team at the conclusion of the final practice of spring ball on Thursday.

And while his voice did not project loud enough for those on the sidelines to hear it, Plummer’s words certainly echoed across the Bill Kajikawa practice fields when he pointed to the PT-42 patch on ASU’s jerseys in honor of legendary Sun Devil linebacker and his fallen teammate Pat Tillman.

“Effort, competitiveness but you’re still a family,” head coach Kenny Dillingham said was Plummer’s overall message. “How you got to be able to compete and fight. You got to be on the field and that is your worst enemy, but at the end of the day he has to be your brother and he just gave a few examples of that throughout his team and his career here.

“And then just about effort, how it takes one person to set the tone of the effort and then one person follows him and one person follows him and one person follows him. And you go from 10 guys jogging and one guy busting his butt, to 11 guys busting their butt just because one person chose to set a standard. So pretty cool story.”

Another Sun Devil great was in attendance on Thursday in tight end Todd Heap, who graduated from Mountain View High School in Mesa before getting drafted by former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick No. 31 overall in the 2001 NFL Draft. Billick also served as an offensive analyst at ASU under former head coach Herm Edwards.

And while Plummer isn’t a Valley native, both he and Heap also have Arizona roots when it comes to playing pro ball, as they both played for the Cardinals despite never actually being teammates in college or the NFL.

“Awesome,” Dillingham said of having the duo at practice. “Just the connection of the program, a guy like Jake who had the career he had, the legacy team here.

“And then you combine that with a guy like Heap who is exactly what we’re preaching to local kids: stay home, move back here and be a legend. And that’s the guy who’s accomplished everything that we’re trying to get Arizona kids to do in the future.”

And as only Plummer could pull off, he spent the entire practice and delivered his speech barefoot.

“No, definitely not,” Dillingham said with a smile when asked if anybody else on the team could rock no shoes. “Only him, but he’s deserved it and he’s earned it.”

The 2023 Pat’s Run is scheduled to commence Saturday morning before the Arizona State spring football game at Sun Devil Stadium at noon.

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Jake Plummer gives speech to ASU football team ahead of spring game, Pat’s Run