Jones makes presence known at MSU

Football fans in Houston knew the havoc Chris Jones could wreak on the field and it didn’t take long for the rest of the nation to figure it out.
The 6-foot-5 defensive end for the Toppers was a transfer from Nettleton prior to his junior year and made the transition to a new school and the Hilltopper football program smoothly. He recorded 160 tackles, 14 sacks and 10 pass deflections in his senior season at Houston and earned national attention by his selection to the Under Armor All-America High School football game, hitting the field with 90 of the nation’s top athletes.
Heavily recruited by area universities, the decision came down to State or Ole Miss and Jones donned his maroon Bulldog cap on National Signing Day, Feb. 6.
Jones said the media frenzy was just something he had to learn to take in stride.
“It was surprising, it wasn’t something we planned,” Jones said. “I never really took it seriously. You know how crazy it can be. The way you handle it is the way it’s going to be and I think I handled it in the appropriate way.”
Jones made the transition from the high school field to the university stadium last summer.
“What’s different? A lot of things,” Jones said. “The game is so much faster.”
He credited coaching for helping make the transition smooth.
“My high school coaches kind of got me into a different weight program and then I’ve just been working hard,” Jones said.
Jones joined the team in a big way, moving to defensive lineman as a starting freshman and racking up 17 solo tackles and 14 assists with seven for loss. He also had three sacks, 10 quarterback hurries and three pass break-ups to start off his college career.
He said the level of athleticism in university football is a motivating factor for him.
“It’s a different level of play,” Jones said. “Everybody is good. You have to work really hard to stand out.”
Working hard was the game plan through the holidays as the Bulldogs were slated to take on Rice in the Liberty Bowl New Year’s Eve. Jones wouldn’t commit to a pre-game score prediction but set his own personal benchmarks for the game.
“I plan to have a sack, a bunch of tackles and a couple of tackles for losses,” he said.web sports lead1 web sports lead2