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Sun Devil Legends Series: No. 79 John Jankans

We had to reach deep into the history books, but once we found him, we discovered that John Jankans has one of the most impressive Sun Devil legacies of any offensive lineman.

John Jankans was a four-year standout at Arizona State.
John Jankans was a four-year standout at Arizona State.
ASU Athletics

The Backstory: After a trip down memory lane with Derek Hagan at No. 80, we keep things on the offensive side of the ball with our "Sun Devil Legend" at No. 79. While the 80s were kind to the skill position players, it's time for the linemen to get some love.

As we count down from 79-60, you'll have a chance to read about many of the unsung heroes whose greatest work came in the trenches. Though the linemen may not receive as much media coverage as other players, House of Sparky has always prided itself on spreading the love to every part of the field and we're looking forward to the next few weeks.

The Player: John Jankans (1952-1955)

When it comes to charting the history of Arizona State football, the history books don't contain much information prior to 1960. It was simply a different era, and to have your name immortalized in the ASU record books, you had to be quite the player.

Fortunately for John Jankans, his legacy lives on forever. Despite playing from 1952-1955 and playing on the offensive line, Jankans managed to put his name all over the Arizona State history guide because of his incredible consistency.

Between 1952 and 1955, Jankans was named an All-Border Conference selection for four straight seasons at offensive tackle. Jankans is the only Sun Devil to earn the distinction of four straight selections, and his consistency played a pivotal part in the Sun Devils' success during that era.

While Arizona State struggled in Jankans' first two seasons, the Sun Devils began to pick up steam when the big guy took on a leadership role. In 1955, Jankans was named a team captain and Arizona State compiled an 8-2-1 record, which was the school's best mark in five seasons.

So while Jankans has every reason to remain anonymous (his era, his position, etc,) he still managed to become a star and earn the spot at No. 79 in our "Sun Devil Legends Series".

In the Pros: Jankans was drafted in the 11th round of the 1956 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears. However, the Bears selected Jankans as an end, not as a tackle.

Honorable Mentions

Randy Moore: The defensive tackle was a two-year starter, and an Honorable Mention All-American in 1975.

Bart Jankans: The younger brother of John, Bart made a name for himself in his own right and was selected to the All-Border Conference team in 1958.