Super 16: Jones Out to Prove Himself
Sun. August 19, 2012 at 2:09 a.m. | By Solange Reyner
Lake Wales Linebacker David Jones will be trying to make up for lost time after missing last season with a knee injury. (Photo by MICHAEL WILSON | THE LEDGER)
By SOLANGE REYNER | THE LEDGER
LAKE WALES | As a sophomore, David Jones once de-cleated a nearly 300-pound lineman, a hit that tumbled that player through the air and eventually onto his rear end. It gave Jones, a middle linebacker, open space to get to the opposing team's running back. And he also hit him hard.
Oohs and aahs followed, from the stands to the sidelines.
"He's such a ferocious hitter," Lake Wales defensive coordinator Bob Urwin said.
Added Lake Wales head coach Rod Shafer: "David has a nose for the ball. He'll come so hard at you and knock your face off. He's amazing to watch."
Jones, a PolkPreps.com Super 16 selection, is likely to play with more ferocity this season, his senior one, because he missed all of last year with a knee injury.
Watching from the sidelines made him pretty mad.
"I hated it," Jones said. "Now I feel like I have a lot to prove, so I'm playing with a big chip on my shoulder."
He now has to play catch-up in the recruiting world, and the Lake Wales staff is working hard to get the word out about Jones' abilities.
Shafer puts Jones up there with some of the best he's had at Lake Wales, including the 1993 group of Ronney Daniels, Jeff Chaney and Chris Parker, players who helped Lake Wales get to the state finals. Chaney went on to play running back at Florida State, and Daniels went on to play wide receiver at Auburn.
"That group was awful good, but David is right up there," Shafer said. "He's really instinctive, fast and a kid who will meet you at the line of scrimmage."
Jones was a strong tailback in the youth leagues, and he was initially going to settle into that role at Lake Wales. But as a freshman, he was all over the field making plays.
Shafer decided a move to linebacker would be best for Jones. It's a role he flourished in as a sophomore.
Jones led the team in tackles. And he made plenty of big hits, so many that they became commonplace.
"He was doing it so regularly that it wasn't a surprise anymore," Urwin said. "Everyone expects it."