If you are a fan of the NFL and the NFL draft, then Terren Jones is a name you need to get to know. He is a massive football player measuring 6'8" tall and 335 pounds. He plays left tackle for the Alabama State Hornets in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
There are always instances of players coming onto the scene as seniors that make quite the splash in the NFL draft. Jones should be another player from a small school that gets selected early in the 2013 NFL draft. He is a player that will have eyes on him all year.
Watching Jones move is like looking at a dancing bear. He has great feet and does a great job of keeping himself balanced while he walls off defenders with his long arms and massive frame. If you just watch him move his feet, you would think he is much smaller then he is.
I interviewed Jones prior to the start of the 2012 NCAA season. We talked a lot about the things he had done to this point, and the things he needs to do as a senior. He is focused on helping his team win football games and showing the younger players the way as a team leader.
I asked him about his time at Alabama State. He explained that it had been tough because of the depleted talent and having coaches come and go. He said that the he was a part of the best class that had come to Alabama State in a long time. "We had to step up and make a difference as freshmen. All of us played as freshmen, so actually that makes us leaders now."
I asked if that early playing time and adversity made him a better leader. "Yeah, it actually has because it put so much pressure on us as freshmen to step up and try to get this program right."
Jones enjoys the every day work that football brings. "I get to go out and do something I love and, you know, represent my family, my city and where I'm from."
I asked him what it was like to play left tackle, a position where one false step leads to your quarterback being buried.
"It's tough. But, you know, that's where preparation and practice comes in. If I prepare, if I practice right, prepare right for situations, I shouldn't have a problem with it in a game, and I'm confident with my athletic ability. I can beat anybody that lines up against me."
We talked about the things he needed to do as a senior. He is determined to lead the younger guys and boost their morale. He wants to be a role model on the field. He said that he wanted to be more aggressive getting to the next level and finishing more often. "I've got to be mean and dominate my opponent every play, every chance I get to."
Jones tore his ACL in the spring of 2011 and was able to return in time to play the final nine games of the season. He said that he was working on strengthening his knee, and he would continue to do so. He was able to return in five months from his injury, a remarkably small amount of time to miss with that type of injury.
We talked about the things he does well and what he would consider the strength of his game. "Footwork. I have really good feet, and I have long arms too, and I'm really good with my hands and lateral movement. You know, getting side to side and stuff like that."
Jones is a huge man, and I asked if he thought that his size gives him an advantage.
"I think it does because the heavier you are, they won't be able to push you around as much. I want to get down to like 325 because I move great at 335 and if I get down to 325, I think I'll be able to move a lot better." He also said that it would help his endurance.
We finished by talking about his goals for the team during his senior season. He pointed to a SWAC Championship followed up by a national championship. He also said that he wanted to have a great summer workout and good camps to get ready to play the season.
Terren Jones is a relative unknown coming into his senior season. He plays a position of priority on the football field, is a gigantic player, and he can really move incredibly well. This is a high-quality group of things that Jones has going for him.
We are all going to get to know him throughout the season, especially as he finishes his career at Alabama State. He should be on everybody's radar very soon.
Scott Bischoff is a Contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials.
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