LSU losing defensive back, relief pitcher (update includes audio)
Unedited text of the statement sent to the media this afternoon by Al Jones Sr., father of LSU baseball and football star Chad Jones (please scroll down for companion audio):
CHAD JONES, LSU FREE SAFETY, TO ENTER 2010 NFL DRAFT
Baton Rouge, LA, Jan. X, 2010 - Louisiana State University football free safety, Chad Jones, announced today his plans to enter the 2010 National Football League draft, forfeiting his senior year on the field for football and his last two seasons of baseball for the university.
The decision to enter the NFL draft this year didn’t come easy for Jones whose loyalty to his Tiger teams and coaches is hard to beat. “My heart will always be at LSU, especially with my coaches and teammates who played an instrumental role in my college football and baseball experiences. I know another season at LSU would be fun and successful and that I could accomplish more on the field with the Tigers, but this opportunity with the NFL is impossible for me to pass,” said Jones.
The New Orleans native started his career at St. Augustine High School before evacuating to Southern Lab High School in Baton Rouge following Hurricane Katrina. A two-sport athlete, Jones was considered the number one safety in America and was also a star outfielder and left-handed pitcher in high school. In fact, Jones was drafted in 2007 by the Houston Astros to play Major League Baseball, but decided instead to attend LSU on a football scholarship to play both football and baseball for the Tigers that same year.
That decision to go to college made history when Jones earned two National Championship titles at LSU - 2007 for football and 2009 for baseball.
“Since I was a kid growing up in a family with a strong football tradition, I’ve always dreamed of playing football in college and hoped one day I’d make it to the NFL,” said Jones. “After many discussions with my family and Coach Miles, I feel it’s the right time for me to enter the NFL draft.”
Jones’ father, Al Jones, played football for Tulane and served as captain of the 1978 team. His older brother and football teammate at LSU, Rahim Alem, also has SEC honors, including 2008 All SEC defensive end, plans to enter the NFL in 2010 as well.
“It’s very rare to have brothers play for the same university at the same time,” said Al Jones, father of Chad Jones and Rahim Alem. “It is also rare for brothers to be in the same NFL draft class. This is an exciting time for the family,” added Patti Jones, mother of the two athletes.
A leader on the field, Jones has been named 2009 Second-Team All SEC, 2007 Freshman All-American, 2007 Freshman All SEC, SEC Special Teams Player of the Week, and Walter Camp National Defense Player of the Week, to name a few.
The 21-year old finished his college football career at the Capital One Bowl where the Tigers fell to Penn State 19 to 17. Over his career in football at LSU, Jones played in 40 games posting a 29-11 record where he fought for 157 tackles and 5 interceptions.
Jones will select agent and begin training for the upcoming NFL Combines in the coming days.
The ‘X’ in the date of the news release suggests the family began working on it in advance of its release, not knowing for sure which day it would be sent to reporters, and the date was never updated.
Tiger Rag attempted to contact Al Jones Sr. and Chad Jones, placing calls to their cell phones, plus LSU coaches Paul Mainieri and Les Miles, and expects the university sports information office to release statements soon. We will have more on this story as soon as possible, including updates here on the Web site and more detailed coverage in the Jan. 19 issue of Tiger Rag.
For audio of Mike Detillier’s comments on Jones’ decision, click the three links below:
Note: Mike Detillier, based in southern Louisiana, is editor and publisher of Mike Detillier’s NFL Draft Report. He’s also the college and pro football analyst for WWL 870 AM Radio in New Orleans, a sports columnist for several newspapers and Web sites, and a frequent guest on radio and television programs across the country.
Carl Dubois is Tiger Rag’s lead reporter for LSU baseball. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.