Jaelen Strong was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A wide receiver for the Arizona State Sun Devils, he was a second team All-Pac 12 selection in 2013, after enjoying a breakout season with the program.
Strong began his football career at West Philadelphia Catholic High School, where he was coached by Brian Fluck. As a junior, he was credited with 24 receptions for 385 yards and four touchdowns, while as a senior, he managed team-high totals of 17 catches for 318 yards and four touchdowns. Strong graduated from high school in 2011 and had been offered scholarships by a number of football programs, including Eastern Michigan University. However, ultimately, he opted to attend junior college instead.
At Pierce College, Strong was coached by Efrain Martinez and enjoyed an impressive 2012 season, in which he registered 1,263 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns from 67 catches to become one of the most productive receivers in all of junior college. Considered a four star recruit by analysts, he had offers from schools including Miami, Arizona, Mississippi, Kansas and Texas Tech, but committed to Arizona State University at the end of 2012.
Having enrolled at Arizona State in 2013, Strong was able to make an immediate impact for the team, featuring in all 14 games for the Sun Devils. Over the duration of the season, he had a team-high total of 1,122 receiving yards and seven touchdowns off 75 catches and managed to eclipse 100 receiving yards in seven different games. He also became the first wide receiver in the school's history to achieve multiple 100 yard receiving games in his first four starts and went on to manage five different 100 yard receiving games in his first six stars for Arizona State. Strong played a vital role in the team's offense, which scored 556 points in total, almost matching the program's all-time record.
His performances in his first year with the Sun Devils resulted in him being named as a second team All-Pac 12 selection and receiving second team Sophomore All-America honors. Moreover, he was chosen as the recipient of the John Jefferson Outstanding Receiver Award.
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