Aquinas' Jarron Jones Narrows Down College Choices
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An Aquinas High School junior has been rated one of the top defensive tackles in the country. Division I colleges across the county are pounding down his door to play football at their schools.
Keeping Jarron Jones' 300 pound frame on the field all comes down to making the grade at school.
The 17-year-old Jarron is 6'7", 300 pounds.
"Everyone used to pick on me because how big I was. I had to play with the older kids," Jones said.
Jones was born nine pounds, two ounces. His mother Lakiescha says her baby had hands as big as baseball mitts.
"Everything that he does is always seen. Everything that he says is always heard," Lakiescha Titus-Jones said.
Now, Division I coaches are the one's who are watching.
"I mean, you can't really single block him with one kid. You've usually got to use two and if you're throwing the ball, you have a very hard time throwing it over top of him because even if your double teaming him, he's 6'7" and if he gets his hands up, you can't throw over his head," Chris Battaglia, Aquiana's head football coach said.
Jones knows he's big and talented, but it wasn't always welcome. As a kid, Jones wasn't allowed to play in the Pop Warner championship game because of his size.
"There were a couple years where I couldn't play because of the weight limit. But now, there is no weight limit," Jones said.
Jones grew up in a tough part of the city. His mom says getting him involved in sports at a young age was crucial to his career.
"Their friends were always with the football teams, the baseball teams, you know, the friends they met there. I always keep them involved. I figured if I kept them involved they wouldn't have time for the streets," Titus-Jones said.
Jones has it narrowed down to four schools: the University of North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and Penn State.
"It's kind of awesome because it's like you can treat college like a girlfriend," Jones said. "You want to find the right one, the one that you can feel comfortable with."
But Jones has got to make the grade to play the game. That's why he's going to summer school to raise his GPA.
"Even when the coaches talk to me about the NFL, I kind of shoo away from it because to me, the most important thing for me is enriching him here [head] and making sure he has a degree," Titus-Jones said.
"My major goal is for him to get a college education. After that, the sky's the limit for Jarron," Battaglia said.
As this defensive tackle heads into his senior year in high school, keeping focused on the game is just as important as the books.
"You just want to say, 'yeah, I'm the one of the best in the nation,' but you got to stay humble, and always work hard, trying to get the best out of everything," Jones said.