The Backstory: 1997 was not only the year the Sun Devils battled Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, but it was the year when a star emerged in the backfield. Redmond was one of the most prominent running backs during Bruce Snyder's coaching era. His first year of collegiate football also happened to be the first time in ten years that ASU made a bowl appearance. It's pretty hard not to give this former AP All-American selection the title of legend.
The Player: J.R. Redmond (1996-1999)
Redmond finished his four-year Sun Devil career ranked as the program's third best rusher, gaining 3,299 yards on the ground. Averaging over 1,000 total yards per season also puts him 26th all-time in Pac-10 history.
The Los Angeles, California native had a knack for finding the end zone, too. The elusive back had 32 touchdowns throughout his career and was known as one of the premier kick returners in the country.
During his senior year, Redmond was a Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker award candidate. He was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft and he enjoyed a six-year professional career. His most notable accolade was helping the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl in the early 2000s.
In the divisional playoff game, he caught three passes in the game-winning drive. In the "Snow Bowl," Redmond caught a pass with less than one minute to play against the Oakland Raiders and he dragged one defender with him past the first down chains and he extended his arms out of bounds to stop the clock. Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said if it were not for Redmond stopping the clock, he would have been content with overtime. Instead, Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal.
After a very successful playing career, this Sun Devil legend is working to become a running backs coach. Though his playing days are in the past, Redmond will be remembered as one of the best running backs to ever wear "ASU" on their jersey.
Who Wears it Now?
JUCO wide receiver Jaelen Strong will wear No. 21 for Arizona State in the fall. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound athlete has a lot of hype to live up to this season because he was one of Todd Graham's more prized recruiting victories this past off-season.