Sun Devil Legends Tournament Sparky Regional Final: John Jefferson Vs. Derek Hagan

"The Catch" by John Jefferson (Photo: ASU)

The Sun Devil Legends Tournament wrapped up the first round of action last week, setting up the Elite 8 match-ups for this week.

We begin this second round with the finals of the Sparky Region that features a battle between two of the most prolific pass catchers in Sun Devil history.

In the first round, we saw a ferocious battle between the region's top seed, Danny White, and fourth seeded Derek Hagan. Despite falling behind 50-4 early, Hagan mounted a comeback. In a battle that featured 21 lead changes and 300 votes, Hagan emerged with the huge upset.

Second-seeded Jefferson had no such drama in his first round affair with College Football Hall of Famer Ron Pritchard. Jefferson took the early lead and never looked back, collecting 82% of your votes.

So now we're down to these two amazing wide receivers as they will battle for your votes, the Sparky Regional crown and a spot in the Final Four.

The Case for Jefferson

ASU's long history has presented countless memorable images. John Jefferson may just have the best...and most important. Jefferson was, of course, the man who made "The Catch," the spectacular leaping touchdown catch during the fierce battle between No. 8 ASU and No. 12 Arizona in 1975 with a Fiesta Bowl berth on the line.

In an era dominated by the running game, Jefferson was immensely productive. As a sophomore and as a senior he topped 50 receptions and 900 yards receiving. Over his four-year career, Jefferson made history by hauling in 188 passes for 2,993 yards, both school records that stood for nearly three decades.

He was a two-time All-WAC selection and a consensus All-American in his final season in 1977 before being the fourth overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft.

The Case for Hagan

After a productive freshman season in 2002, he exploded to top 1,000 yards in 2003. He had his best statistical season as a junior, hauling in 83 passes for 1,248 yards and 10 touchdowns. He completed the hat trick of 1,000 seasons as a senior, posting a 77-1,210-9 line.

He earned All-Pac-10 honors twice and was a two-time Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist. His 258 career receptions were the most in Pac-10 conference history when he graduated, and his 3,939 receiving yards were second-most all-time.

Vote now for your pick to represent the Sparky Region in the Final Four. Polls close Wednesday at 11:59pm PST.

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