Jul 21, 2022
It’s one of those “Where were you when?” moments for any Sun Devil.
The Jael Mary is one of the most iconic plays in Arizona State history, but it was just one of many big moments for the play’s namesake, Jaelen Strong. He went from a junior college transfer to one of most productive players in school history. His future was bright...but injuries and some humbling lessons cut short his NFL career. There were some hard times, but Jaelen battled, grew, and healed—both physically and mentally. He’s since become a strong advocate for the importance of mental health, something that so often in sports gets tossed to the side or is viewed as weakness, rather than the strength that it is. He also mentoring and coaching the next generation of receivers here in the Valley, passing on his on-field techniques and hard-earned off-field life lessons. And yet, as one of the best players ASU has seen in recent years, the relationship between him and the program is...basically non-existent.
On this episode, Jaelen and I look back at his incredible ASU career, the hard truths and painful lessons from his time in the NFL, why mentoring matters, the critical importance of mental health, the state of his relationship with ASU, what he’d like to see from his alma mater towards former players, and so much more.