Jones eyes career in NFL (03-05-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 10:37
File photo. BGSU's Chris Jones tackles Buffalo's Devin Campbell during a game last season. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Chris Jones worked hard during his Bowling Green State University football career and it paid off when he was voted the Mid-American Conference defensive player of the year.
Now Jones, who also earned All-America recognition for his efforts at defensive tackle during the 2012 season, is working even harder to take the next step in his football career.
Jones, who is 6-foot-1 and has bulked up to 302 pounds, recently participated in the National Football League combine in Indianapolis.
''It's something I've been wanting to do all my life,'' Jones said about playing in the NFL. ''I want to keep the dream alive for myself even though I know once I get there it's going to be a very cut throat business.
''Players either make it or they don't. The ones that work the hardest are the ones that are going to make it. So I know the harder I work and the more I put into it, it's going to really help me out.''
A sprained ankle suffered two weeks before the combine slowed Jones down in Indianapolis.
"I ran the 40 and ran the shuttles, but I didn't do the position drills and I didn't do the jumps,'' Jones said.
But he said he's going to be 100 percent for BGSU's Pro Day next Tuesday.
"I definitely want to improve my 40. I know I can run faster than that. And hopefully improve my vertical and my broad jump as well because I haven't been able to work on those because of my ankle,'' Jones said.
''I'll do the position drills and show that I hustle all the time,'' he continued. ''I'll show them I can play football. I'll show them I'm just as good if not better than any of the defensive tackles in the draft.''
Jones worked out at BGSU for the first part of this semester and then went to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for three weeks. Jones got into IMG through Priority Sports, which is Jones' agency.
''I went through a whole bunch of different aspects. We did the physical training, running, lifting every day,'' Jones said about IMG.
Chris Jones
''For one hour every day, we had a different type of training - media training, mental conditioning, nutritional training ... just a whole bunch of stuff like that,'' he continued.
During the meetings at the combine, the persons asking the questions, would try to trick the players.
''When you went to the meetings, you knew you had to focus up,'' Jones said. ''They always tried to get you to switch your mind. I would be answering a football question then they would ask me a random question about my life.
''That's the biggest thing about the combine that people don't get, (it's) the mental heat that you take from being there. It's really exhausting actually.''
Even though he could not do all the physical drills, Jones said it was ''a great experience overall, (a) very busy four days. It was probably the busiest I had been, in general, for football, even more than (preseason) camp.''
Jones said he did well during the numerous tests, medical exams, drills and meetings.
''I did pretty well on the bench ... I ran really well in the shuttles, three-cone and the NFL shuttle,'' Jones said. ''On the  physiological testing, I think I did real well on that too ... On the Wonderlic test, I felt I did pretty well.
''They are really testing how well you deal with stress,'' he added.
At the combine, Jones had a formal meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and at least 20 informal meetings with defensive line coaches from various teams.
Even with the four days of stress, Jones said he would go to the combine again.
''It was definitely the most interesting event in my life,'' Jones added. ''I never had to go through so much stuff for one thing that was so important to my life and my career.
''We had a shirt that said: 'I believe this is the most important job interview of my life.'
''This is something that I want to do as my career and to be blessed to actually be invited and to be able to participate was awesome.''
In addition to Jones, other former Falcons expected to participate in the Pro Day drills are Dwayne Woods, John Pettigrew, Cory Johnson, Jordon Roussos and Dominique Wharton.

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