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JSU’s Jones rockets up draft boards (2093 hits)

By Ernest Bowker

RIDGELAND — When he received an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game, one of college football’s most prestigious all-star games, Javancy Jones figured his reputation might precede him.

His resumé was impressive enough. Seven All-America team selections from various publications. Four-year starter for Jackson State’s defense. Solid stats and All-Southwestern Athletic Conference honors at two positions.

Then he sat in a conference room for 3 1/2 hours, waiting for someone — anyone — associated with an NFL team to come talk to him. Nearly every other player in the room got an interview while Jones sat there. It was then and there, he said, that he had a revelation.

It was up to me to make them want to talk to me,” Jones said, and that’s exactly what he did.

The Jackson State linebacker impressed scouts with an outstanding week of practice and capped it by making four tackles, one for loss, for the East team in a 10-3 loss to the West. He continued to make scouts swoon by bench pressing 225 pounds 29 times and running a 4.5-second 40-yard dash at his pro day in March.

Now, his phone won’t stop ringing. More than 20 teams have contacted Jones and his agent ahead of this weekend’s NFL draft. Jones is expected to be a mid-round pick after barely being on anyone’s draft board three months ago.

Not too shabby for a small-town kid from Macon, Mississippi.

“It was a feeling of relief,” Jones said of seeing his name pop up in draft discussions in recent weeks. “I had an amazing career at Jackson State and was still an unknown. I wasn’t even a sleeper. It’s crazy how one game against good competition can open people’s eyes up.”

Jones was recruited by Duke, Vanderbilt and Kentucky coming out of Noxubee County High School in 2013. He signed with Jackson State because of his mother. She was very sick, his older brother was already at Jackson State, and going there allowed him to stay close to home and family.

He had a stellar career at JSU, capped with All-America honors from BOXTOROW and STATS this season. He had 82 tackles, 4 ½ sacks and 19 ½ tackles for loss in 2016, started all four seasons, and played every defensive line and linebacker position. When it was all said and done, he was one of the most decorated defensive players in Jackson State’s storied history.

Photo: Jackson State linebacker Javancy Jones sits on a weight bench at Workout Anytime gym in Ridgeland. Jones is projected as a mid-round pick in this weekend’s NFL draft, and should become the first JSU player selected in the draft since 2008. (Ernest Bowker/The Vicksburg Post)

Posted By: Elly Moss
Friday, April 28th 2017 at 2:22PM
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