Arizona State football is just around the corner, but before that rolls around, the players had to put an end to Summer workouts.
The Sun Devils ended workouts in typical fashion with a breaking of the rock, which signified breaking through to the next stage of practice; Fall camp.
But who got the nod to wield the famous sledgehammer?
The answer is redshirt junior offensive lineman Sam Jones.
Jones may not be a household name for Sun Devil fans, but he definitely is well regarded among the players and staff.
“He does a great job in the community, in the classroom and being a Sun Devil,” ASU sports performance head coach Shawn Griswold said. “He’s a guy that works hard every day. He exudes everything that we’re trying to get done.”
Jones is from Highlands Ranch, Colorado and came in to ASU as the No. 23 OL recruit in the country according to ESPN. He was a four-star recruit.
He redshirted his freshman year, and first officially played during his redshirt freshman season where he started three games, but saw the field in 12 different games. He then played in seven games during his sophomore season.
It seems that Jones is stepping into a vocal leadership role. Before he took a sledgehammer to the rock, he delivered a powerful speech that fired up his teammates.
“I didn’t wing it (the speech),” Jones said. “There’s things we’ve been talking about all summer, just kind of trying to reestablish the culture. And just being tougher than hell.”
Jones humbly spoke about being selected as the player that got to swing the hammer.
“There’s plenty of guys that could have done it,” Jones said. “I was honored to do it.”
But it’s not just Jones that feels the need to step up as a leader.
“A lot of people don’t realize the past few years we have had players like Mike Bercovici and Salamo Fiso to lead us,” senior running back Kaelen Ballage said. “But we’re seniors and juniors now. This is our football team.”
So when summer workouts came to a close, Jones was chosen to be the player that would break the rock. But the choice was not random. In order to be in that position Jones worked tirelessly and the hard-work paid off.