STARKVILLE – In the short time Chris Jones has been on campus, he’s already made a strong impression on his coaches and teammates. Not just on the field, but off it, too.
The biggest prospect to sign with Mississippi State in years, Jones comes in as a freshman weighted with heavy expectations. The defensive end became a con- sensus five-star pros-pect as a senior at Houston, with 247Sports ranking him as the
No. 2 prospect in the country.
Following Friday morning’s practice – MSU’s second of preseason camp – Jones was getting plenty of praise. His size alone is eye-popping: He’s listed as 250 pounds on the roster, but defensive coordinator Geoff Collins said the 6-foot-5 Jones is actually at 310 pounds.
Collins said Jones was “running around moving like a deer. They had a bootleg (play) today, he jumped like 40 inches off the ground. I swear he was 12 feet in the air, so he’s a pretty impressive kid.”
Jones, who recorded 160 tackles and 14 sacks last year, has impressed teammates with his attitude and off-field demeanor. He didn’t show up at MSU flashing that five-star rating, and he’s shown an eagerness to learn.
Junior defensive end Preston Smith said Jones has never mentioned the expectations he carries around.
“He just comes in to work every day. He’s a hard-working kid, and he comes every day to work and get better and learn,” Smith said.
The Bulldogs will be back on the practice fields today for a pair of split-squad practices.
The first one is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., the second one for 2:30 p.m.