PART ll: Are you a Die Hard Sun Devil? Why?
Mike Howell
By ,
April 1, 2016 3:01 PM

With so many impressive responses from fans, alumni and players, we’re serving up a second installment of the, “Are you a DieHard Sun Devil?” project. Forks Up and enjoy!

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Being a 3rd generation Sun Devil has brought me some of the greatest memories in my life. From growing up going to football games with my grandparents, to taking pride in the fact that my dad was a national champion swimmer at ASU while my mom was a national champion baton twirler… it was destined to be in my blood.

Today, one of my greatest joys is taking my kids to sporting events and seeing them find the same joy I did as a child! Go Devils! #ForksUp

Cory Driggs

Cory Driggs and his Sun Devil offspring

Cory Driggs and his Sun Devil offspring



It is the passion and drive by all involved that create a class organization.

Being a Sun Devil means you invest your time and resources into a high quality product. Whether it’s sports, higher education or just being with high caliber people, ASU is a way of life. With respect to Sun Devil nation, it is the passion and drive by all involved that create a class organization.

ASU is a top quality brand, and I am proud to be a Sun Devil! Go Devils. Forks Up!!!!!

Michael Kabrin



Sparky (Shultz) on the road to the next Sun Devil stop

Sparky (Shultz) on the road to the next Sun Devil stop

Being a Sun Devil means the world to me. Growing up in Southern California, you always heard about ASU. I actually grew up as a Trojan fan, but my first USC football game was against ASU.

It truly wasn’t until I toured the campus in Tempe that I really considered ASU a destination for me. But the moment I stepped foot in Tempe, I knew I was a Sun Devil for life.

Not many people can say they’ve had the honor of being Sparky, but I can. Representing the “Maroon & Gold” in that capacity was a true honor and is one of my greatest memories.

Even now while writing this, I am picturing a 24-point comeback at Arizona Stadium. While in that Sparky uniform, I can remember the stunned silence of the Zona Zoo as ASU secured the victory in Coach Graham’s first year.

It was an honor to be the face of Sun Devil Nation for 4.5 years. To wear anything with the words “Arizona State” or “Sun Devils” gives me a sense of pride, something that people outside of Sun Devil Nation can’t understand. It’s that privilege that I cannot wait to pass down to my children.

Because at the end of the day, being a Sun Devil is being part of one big family. Give ‘Em Hell Devils!

— Thomas Shults, Class of 2013, Former Sparky the Sun Devil



QB Taylor Kelly - All Class Sun Devil for Life

QB Taylor Kelly – All Class Sun Devil for Life

The second I stepped onto campus on my official visit, I knew I was a Sun Devil! I had followed Jake Plummer’s career while he was at ASU and knew that’s where I wanted to go to school and play!

I am a DieHard Sun Devil for the rest of my life and can’t wait for the many more years to be a Sun Devil! GO DEVILS!!

Die Hard Devil
— Taylor Kelly
14 Graduate




Being a Die Hard Devil means the world to me.

It started when I chose ASU as my university of choice after I graduated junior college. I came out for a visit and was impressed with the campus and the lifestyle of living in the desert. I was the first person in my family to go to college, and it was a huge feeling of pride to be at such a great university.

… To see the excitement of the players running out of the tunnel

I became part of a student organization within the first days on campus, and I was invited to hold the banner that Sparky runs through during the opening of the football games. It was so exciting to be a part of the opening ceremonies and getting to see the excitement of the players running out of the tunnel and hearing the cheers of the crowd.

I attended every home game of that 2011 season. I’ve been to every home game since then, and I have even traveled to some away games such as the ASU vs. Notre Dame game in Dallas, Texas.

I didn’t have family when I moved to Arizona, but the friends I made and the faculty of the university made it feel like home.

Watching the football games has been a highlight of my college career, and I will always cheer loud and proud for my Sun Devils.

Die Hard Devil
— Tim Jenkins
Class of 2014



To say that playing football for ASU was the highlight of my life would be an understatement. 

Growing up, playing football always came naturally to me, and it fed my addiction for competing at a high level. It wasn’t until I arrived at this university that I could see that football was much more than a game. ASU has been so good to me, but it wasn’t until I graduated that I truly understood that.  

Devil for Life, Jason Franklin (ASU Football, 2011-2015)

Devil for Life, Jason Franklin (ASU Football, 2011-2015)

I went through several trials and tribulations as a player, and because of my teammates, I was able to rise above them all. The team always had my back. Being a walk-on for a great program presents obvious challenges.

Five years of starting everyday on the defensive scout team was just a part of it. Going through Spring Ball and getting what I would consider “pity reps” when the starters became too tired was difficult for anyone who believes in a greater self-worth. Every day, I worked towards becoming a scholarship athlete for ASU, but injuries and other obstacles were constant.

It wasn’t until my senior year when I realized why I was on this team.

The senior banquet is held at the end of each season, and many people, including my parents, never thought that I would last long enough to see this event. It’s a night that much of Sun Devil Nation attends as players receive different awards.  

In my years at ASU, there had never been a scout team award, but that night it was given to me. All the years of blood, sweat and tears led me to that very moment. Obviously the award made me happy, but not nearly as happy as the feeling I got when I watched my entire team give me a standing ovation. I could tell that the award meant just as much to my teammates as it did to myself.

For the first time in my life and in front of Sun Devil Nation, I found out what it meant to be a Sun Devil. I realized that over a hundred guys will stand beside me forever because of a beautiful common connection.

I love this University more then anything, and it is all because I believe in what this place stands for. In times of utter chaos and pressure, Sun Devil Nation will always band together because that is the type of people we are and the type of people we were born to be.

— Jason Franklin #55
2015-16 Senior Class



I bleed maroon and gold.

I am a Die hard Sun Devil because I fought with my Sun Devil brothers on the grid iron every game for them.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my special time I had playing in Sun Devil Stadium, and I wish someone would have told me to appreciate my time because it goes so fast. I am proud to be a Sun Devil, and I bleed maroon and gold.

Die Hard Devil
— Todd Hons # 1



I have repped our Devils on three continents, two subcontinents and throughout two wars.

Unlike other DieHard Devils, I was not born into Maroon and Gold nation, but rather received a transfusion which turned my blood maroon and gold.

In early childhood my parents relocated to Tempe, and we all were invited to a game by the mother of my sister’s friend.  Almost instantly I was hooked on the big lights, energized atmosphere and, above all, the excitement of Sun Devil Football. 

Throughout the course of 30+ years, I have repped our Devils on three continents, two subcontinents and throughout two wars. Sparky has been by my side in the deserts of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.  I have sported Maroon and Gold at British pubs and German Oktoberfests alike.  During the 2014/15 season I watched our Devils take on UCLA from the confines of NAS Sigonella Sicily and then triumphantly strode the streets of Taormina after a 38-23 win.  

Not only are ASU Athletics a family tradition, but academically we lean towards ASU as well.  My sister and I are both alumni and my daughter is working towards admission while my son has applied for acceptance.  I remember dreaming of attending ASU while still at Curry Elementary.  Nor are we limited to football although season tickets, being as they are, limit us to one activity in person.  Although during my student career, I joined in the atmosphere of Wells Fargo Arena, basked in the sun at Packard Stadium and Even caught some Sun Devil Hockey action.  To me all Devils are created equal whether they be on the field, the court or in the classroom.

For me ASU isn’t just an institution or a sports team, but a part of my very soul.  Removing it from my life would be like removing my heart.  I cannot exist without my heart and I can’t exist without our Devils .  While they may end up contributing to my demise by giving me a heart attack, at the very least I know that I’ll go out with a smile on my face and pitchfork salute!

— Matthew Maltby


Am I a Die Hard Sun Devil? Absolutely.

Why? There is something extraordinarily special about being a Sun Devil. Not only was I honored to go to school at Arizona State, but I was incredibly blessed to serve as a student athlete. It was always a dream of mine to play at ASU; when the volleyball coach at the time had dinner at my house and offered me a scholarship it took no more than 10 seconds for me to accept. Not because I was an AZ native, but because of the feeling I had whenever I stepped foot on campus, or had a conversation with anyone tied to ASU.

Stephanie Preach, ASU Volleyball, 2010-2013)

Stephanie Preach (ASU Volleyball, 2010-2013)

Like I said, there is something extraordinarily special about being a Sun Devil. The values that I have acquired and the person that I have become, I owe in large part to my time as a Sun Devil Athlete. One of our core values is character, and I grew and continue to grow into mine through my time as a Sun Devil.

In fact, I loved being a Sun Devil so much that I am still at ASU, I currently work for the football department in recruiting. I am BLESSED to have a job at my home, this wonderful place that has done so much for me.

Being a student-athlete is nothing but a gift, and I am beyond thankful for Arizona State University for giving me every opportunity that it gave me as an athlete and as a young professional. I owe so much of who I am to Sun Devil Athletics and Arizona State University and will serve them for the rest of my life. THAT is why I am a Sun Devil for Life.

Stephanie Preach 




Being a part of this Sun Devil nation is by far the best thing in life.

Being a Die Hard Sun Devil is more than just going to games, supporting the college and wearing their logos. You have to bleed Maroon and Gold!

Any chance I get, no matter what my schedule is or how far away I am, I always make the effort to drive to Tempe and go around the campus.

I’m a Die Hard Sun Devil from Iowa and will be for the rest of my life. Being a part of this Sun Devil nation is by far the best thing in life. I have camped out many times for football games including the U of A game this past season for two days. For the Notre Dame game in 2014, I camped out all week long.

Being able to call myself a true Sun Devil and graduate with my degree from ASU will be a huge accomplishment! There is nothing better than watching ASU beat that school down south in everything, including academics! There is no other college I would want to be apart of. I am a true Die Hard Sun Devil for life and will bleed Maroon and Gold forever!

Go Sun Devils and Forks Up!

— Matt Belvel

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