Jones initially did not understand the enormity of the moment. He found the video board credited him and was glad his mother came to see it at his FedEx Field. As Jones watched the defense, he stood next to an injured teammate wearing an Apple Watch. An ESPN notice appeared on the small screen sharing the news of Jones’ three touchdowns.
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After winning, Jones scrolled through his phone for several minutes before reaching the end of his social media notification stream. Fans recognized him and asked for pictures. His debut recalibrated Jones’ expectations and shocked his confidence, but also added pressure.Jones probably never thought of playing in the NFL after just three of his seasons in college. I was hoping
Four years later, a senior in Maryland saw video Honored career at College Park. Jones’ eyes filled with tears when the screen showed his heroism against Texas. He said that he remembered that he had hidden sexuality and that it was beyond that. And he was keenly aware of how his career had unfolded.
After that dream start, Jones’ production slowed down in a tumultuous year. He and his teammates had to mourn the death of his teammate Jordan McNair and navigate the mid-season departure of their fired coach. The program stabilized into Jones’ sophomore year, only tore his ACL during preseason practice. The coronavirus pandemic cut Maryland’s season short to five games, as Jones was healthy again in 2020. When he returned to play all games in 2021, Jones was on the other side. tore his ACL. In four years, Jones never had a healthy season without controversy or cancellations.
“That’s why this year has meant so much to me,” he said. “It’s been hard since I came here.”
This season, Jones has had to contend with targets in a dense room of capable receivers, and the Maryland offense has spread the ball to a variety of players. A strong outing in the regular season finale against Rutgers made Jones a leading receiver for the Terps. He has tallied his 478 yards and his four touchdowns, leading the team heading to his bowl against North Carolina and the Dukes Mayo.
The Terps gradually improved during Jones’ tenure, finishing the regular season with a 7-5 record. A bowl win in his game would give Maryland the most wins since his 2010. Rakim Jarrett, Dontey Demus Jr., and Jacob Copeland announce moves to the NFL.
That’s why coach Michael Locksley called Jones “the first recruiting job” after the regular season ended. It will probably be an important person to be threatened. (And by his December of next year, he’ll be completing his second master’s degree.) Jones’ mother said, “I have no doubt he’ll be playing his year.” I said where “not decided. Jones wants to be in the right situation to reach his full potential. It’s not yet known if quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will return.
“It would be great to have a veteran like him out there,” Locksley said.
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Jones looks back on his five-year college career with equanimity. He acknowledges his bad luck with the confusion and injury, but he’s also grateful for how he got through the difficult stretch. It’s sad, but it’s all part of our growth.”
After Jones’ outstanding game against Texas, it took him a total of seven games to tally the same number of receiving yards he did on his debut. He felt pressure to continue making the way he had against Texas when it seemed all too easy to transfer the versatility he showed at the high school level to the college stage.
Late in the 2018 season, the Terps had a chance to beat Ohio State in overtime, but Tyrrell Pigrom’s pass to Jones on a two-point conversion attempt was off target. The ball wasn’t supposed to go to Jones, but the defender left the freshman wide open. Jones fell to the ground with his face on the grass and cried in the locker room. His mom would take Piglom and his son to off-campus dinners to revisit the play over and over again over chicken wings.
Jones’ mother said she wanted to keep them off social media and “protect them from everyone.” The loss was “devastating,” she said.
After a change in coaching, Jones was keen to start next season with a more pass-friendly offense under Roxley. Jones’ role was set to expand before his knee injury. It was the lowest moment in his career, he said.
When he suffered the same injury two years later, Jones was poised to take on a bigger role again.Demuth had just turned down his ACL, and Jones took over the starting role against Ohio State. His season ended his two plays into the game and another grueling recovery process began.
At the beginning of his career, Jones wanted to score again and again. By the time he returns for his 2022 season, he simply wanted to play.
“I don’t think I would have enjoyed it the way I did without going through it all,” Jones said. “I was lucky to have had a normal season.”
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Jones showed flashes of his ability, but had yet to produce a dominating performance through 11 games this year. I was. Jones knew this might be his last chance to play at College Park, so he felt a similar feeling as he looked around the field.
Jones got a few catches early on and a few more before halftime. His receiving yards climbed steadily but didn’t reach the end zone. And in the fourth quarter, with the final touch of the day, he secured a touchdown pass to cap off his career-best outing.
Balan followed his son into the media room to watch his interview. She said she doesn’t mind if she’s a “weird mom in the background.” Because she wanted to be immersed in everything.
Jones admitted his debut against Texas felt like “many years ago.” Since then he has been waiting. He has long wanted another outstanding game. And finally, on Senior Day, Jones got to experience a similar moment of joy.