Aug. 13, 1997
Haynes' Greatness Recognized for Eternity
Mike Haynes became the third former ASU football player to be inducted into professional football's Hall of Fame July 25th in Canton, Ohio. The cornerback who played 14 seasons in the NFL joined fellow inductees Wellington Mara, Don Shula and Mike Webster in the Class of 1997.
Haynes, a native of Los Angeles, came to Arizona State in 1972 with the intention of playing wide receiver. Injuries to the Sun Devil secondary during his freshman season and Haynes athletic abilities prompted then ASU head coach Frank Kush to utilize Haynes as a defensive back.
"College is where I got a chance to really excel and be recognized," said Haynes in his acceptance speech on the steps of the Hall of Fame. "When I went to Arizona State I wanted to be a wide receiver. Like a lot of kids, I wanted to see my name in lights. Usually, defensive backs are being beat in those news highlights."
What started as a temporary move became a stroke of genius as Haynes accepted the secondary as his permanent home after the arrival of wide receiver John Jefferson.
"I continued to play defensive back, but not because I wanted to," said Haynes. "My junior season a guy named John Jefferson came to Arizona State and without a doubt was probably the best receiver I ever saw. He really had it over me as a receiver. It was then that I started this trek to be a defensive back. If I was going to be one, I wanted to be one of the all-time best."
Haynes went on to be a three-time All-WAC cornerback and earn All-America accolades his senior season at ASU. Haynes was the fifth selection overall and one of three first-round draft choices of the New England Patriots in the 1976 NFL Draft. Haynes played seven seasons in New England before becoming a Los Angeles Raider, where he was a member of the Raiders Super Bowl XVIII championship team in 1983. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and joins John Henry Johnson and Charley Taylor as former Sun Devils in the Hall of Fame.
"It was with hard work (at ASU)," said Haynes, "and practicing and playing with those athletes in college that really set the tempo and the standard for me going into the National Football League. 'Get the most out of your abilities.' That's what Frank Kush taught us in college and that's what I think young people who take anything seriously should try to do."
- ASU, 1972-75
- Three-time All WAC
- All-America, 1975
- Patriots, 1976-82
- Raiders, 1983-89
- Super Bowl XVIII Champion
- 9-time Pro Bowl Selection
- 46 career interceptions