Although the Arizona State Sun Devils are several months removed from playing a game in 2022, ASU saw one of its own shine on pro football's brightest stage.
Former Sun Devils and current San Francisco receiver Brandon Aiyuk was one of many key pieces for the 49ers in a 23-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday.
Aiyuk paced the team in catches (5) and receiving yards (66) to push the 49ers on to the next round of the playoffs. Sunday marked the fifth instance in Aiyuk's last six games where he recorded four or more receptions, and the third week in a row where he topped 60 receiving yards.
One of his best plays came when Aiyuk was able to find open space after the play initially broke down, defeating first-team All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs after turning upfield on a crossing route
Aiyuk, San Francisco's first-round selection in 2020, made the most of his first appearance in the postseason.
Effectively working as the 49ers' third pass-catcher behind receiver Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle, he racked up 60 receptions for 96 yards and five touchdowns in the regular season. Aiyuk also scored twice as a ball-carrier.
Since initially joining Arizona State as a junior in 2018, Aiyuk has continually made ASU faithful proud due to his electric abilities on the field.
After watching fellow first-round pick N'Keal Harry dominate, Aiyuk took advantage of his senior season in 2019 and eventually became the seventh ASU receiver to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
More on Aiyuk's senior season, per ASU:
"Aiyuk recorded 1,192 receiving yards in his senior season, the fifth-most in ASU single season history and he was within 18 of fourth and 56 of third.
"He was second in the FBS in the regular season in yards after the catch with 710, while his 10.9 yards after the catch per reception were the 12th-most nationally. He was first in the Pac-12 with 3.04 yards per route run on the season. When quarterbacks targeted him, they recorded a 133.9 NFL Passer Rating this season, which was good for 10th in the country in the regular season.
"Aiyuk finished the regular season 8th nationally and 2nd in the Pac-12 with 1,192 receiving yards on the year while his 99.3 receiving yards per game were also 13th in the FBS in the regular season and second in the league. Six of his eight touchdown receptions in 2019 were for more than 30 yards (77 yards vs. Kent State, 53 yards vs. Colorado, 40 yards vs. WSU, 86 yards vs. WSU, 33 yards vs. WSU, 81 vs. ORE)."
Now, Aiyuk and the 49ers will move on to a road trip at Green Bay in the second round of the postseason.
Aiyuk, proven as a playmaker with the ball in his hands, is sure to make an impact when given an opportunity.