Father thinks it’s unlikely, but says ‘You never know’
By CARL DUBOIS
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
The father of LSU two-sport athlete Chad Jones said he doesn’t expect his son to reverse direction and withdraw his name from the 2010 NFL Draft, but he wasn’t ruling out any new developments either.
“Well, at this point in time I would say no, but you never know,” Al Jones Sr. said, laughing after e-mailing a news release Monday to alert reporters to his son’s decision to apply for early entry to the draft.
Chad Jones won national championships with LSU in football in 2007 and baseball in 2009. If he leaves school as planned, he would skip his senior year in football and his junior and senior years in baseball.
“It wasn’t an easy decision for him, but this is what he decided to do,” his father said. “We had numerous conversations with Les Miles, and Coach Miles was also talking with the NFL as much as you can, and so it wasn’t an impromptu decision. There was a lot of pondering going on.”
He didn’t say what his son learned about his draft stock - first round, second round, or whatever - but said seeking that information from the appropriate channels was part of the decision-making process.
“He got that information,” Al Jones Sr. said.
The spring semester at LSU starts Jan. 19, four days after the deadline for entering the NFL Draft. Jones could decide to stay at LSU if he maintains his amateur status, even after this week’s deadline.
“He has not signed with an agent, and he hasn’t started school,” his father said. “As long as you don’t sign with an agent, you still have some eligibility in school. He can go to school and still apply for the draft, but he can’t sign with an agent and stay eligible.”
The father said he didn’t know whether the son planned to begin classes Jan. 19.
Should Chad Jones turn pro in football this year, he would begin earning a lot of money and narrowing the focus of his life. Being a year-round athlete in baseball and football at a major university required a lot of his time and a lot of sacrifices.
“A lot of people probably think it’s the coolest thing in the world to be put on that kind of pedestal,” his brother, Rahim Alem, said in November. “They don’t realize the time he puts into it, and the free time he doesn’t have.”
Alem, a senior LSU defensive end who changed his name from Al Jones Jr. early in his college career, talked about his younger brother in a story about two-sport athletes that was published in the SEC Championship Game program.
“All year ’round he’s training for something,” Alem said. “That’s four, five hours out of his day, gone, for the whole year. That’s along with being a full-time student, along with being a father, so he doesn’t have free time. That’s what he does — practice — 24/7.”
Their father, Al Jones Sr., recalled the pondering his youngest son did in 2007 before choosing LSU over signing a contract with the Houston Astros. This, he said, was somewhat different.
“It’s uncertain where you’re going to be drafted at,” he said. “That’s really out of his control, whereas going to LSU out of high school was within his control. It was all about whether or not to sign a baseball contract or go to college and play two sports.”
Carl Dubois is Tiger Rag’s lead reporter for LSU baseball. He wrote the two-sport-athlete story referenced in the above post. Contact him at email@example.com.