100 Day Sun Devil Football Countdown To Kickoff, #39: J.R. Redmond

J.R. Redmond (Photo: ASU)

J.R. Redmond's career went by in a blur, he was that fast. Few Sun Devils had greater playmaking ability than Redmond, who played in the Devils' backfield from 1996-1999.

Redmond was special because of his rare versatility and explosiveness. Not only is he third in ASU history with 3,299 career-rushing yards, but also has 5,107 career all-purpose yards, trailing only the legendary Whizzer White in school history. He averaged 23.7 yards per kickoff return and 9.5 yards on punt returns, and scored four receiving touchdowns in his career.

Beyond the desert, people know Redmond for accumulating the 26th most total yards in conference history, being a Doak Walker candidate, and even a darkhorse Heisman contender as a senior. Redmond's final season was brilliant, rushing for 1,174 yards and 12 touchdowns yet not good enough, as Texas running back Ricky Williams hoisted the Heisman trophy.

The numbers Redmond posted were jaw dropping, causing instant comparisons to the great Marshall Faulk. Redmond started at running back and kick returner while also playing wide receiver and even spot duty in ASU's secondary. Players like this are now labeled as "athletes". To be considered an athlete, in a sport filled with amazing athletes, shows how supremely talented he was.

Redmond hit pay dirt 33 times in his career (28 rushing, four receiving, one on a punt return), third most in school history. His dynamic play helped ASU stay afloat after the glamorous Jake Plummer era ended.

Despite disappointing 6-4 and 5-6 seasons in '98-'99, both would have been much worse without Redmond.

After Redmond's time in Tempe elapsed, the New England Patriots selected him in the third round of the 2000 NFL draft. As a Patriot, Redmond became a Super Bowl champion (XXXVI). Redmond's career came full circle when he ended his playing days with the Arizona Cardinals in 2005.

See the previous entries on House of Sparky's 100 day countdown here

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