PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) Mosley alum Reakwon Jones continues to work towards his dream of playing in the NFL despite the major interruption to all aspects of life caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Reakwon Jones poses with his family on the field at Memorial Stadium.
A 2015 graduate of Mosley High School, Jones went on to play for Indiana University. A redshirt in his first year, the linebacker slowly but surely saw more and more playing time the next two seasons, stepping up as a leader for the the Hoosiers defense as a junior and senior.
Jones started all 13 games in 2019, tying for second on the team with 55 tackles and solo second with 39 solo stops. He added a sack, 3.5 tackles for loss, and one fumble recovery for a touchdown, leading the team in tackles four times.
Those numbers were not enough to earn an invite to the NFL Combine in late February, so he was banking on impressing scouts in Pro Day at Indiana, but that was canceled.
"After the season ended, I played in an all-star game," Jones said via Skype Wednesday. "I ended up going to Colorado to train, Pueblo and Colorado Springs, and I was supposed to train all the way through to the 26th or 27th [of February]. Then all this crazy stuff started happening with the coronavirus. One day we were all just sitting in our living room just talking to my roommate up in Colorado and I was like 'man I've got to get out of here, they might start closing down flights soon, or close down airports, or whatever.' I'd rather be with my family, or around some people...than be stuck in Colorado."
Now back in Florida, Jones has taken to a training regimen of running, weights, and agility work—whatever he needs to do to say in shape for what's ahead. Still, losing the Pro Day opportunity weighs on his mind.
"This is difficult because it is something that we had focused on from when the season ended until then," Jones admitted. "Kind of working and training for that one day, so it was kind of difficult to see that get canceled. But you know I've been just talking to my trainers, talking to my agent, talking with other players going through it and stuff like that and we all agree we just can't let this training go to waste. We're just gonna keep working and keep grinding. Whatever opportunity happens next, whether they push something back and Pro Days come back on, or whether we've just got to go straight into training camp."
Based on what he did at Indiana, and on his work ethic and faith in himself, Reakwon believes whenever camps open up, he will be a part of one.
"Through this process, I just keep my head down and do my work because I don't let one thing excite me too much. I don't let nothing bring me down. I just know when it's time, when a team takes their chance on me, whether it's being drafted, whether it's free agency, whatever it is, I just want to be able to go there and be able to represent me, my city, and my family."
Jones adds that he has talked to the Colts and the Chargers himself, while his agent has spoken with about half a dozen other teams. The NFL Draft is still set to start April 23.
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