September 17, 2020

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"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

Diamond In The Rough: Nylen Jones

Nylen Jones is currently a free safety at Madison Prep Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This recruit out of the 2021 class stands at 6’1″ and weighs in around 190 pounds. Jones is also apart of the track team where he runs the 400 and 800. On the field, Jones gets competitive during practices and season games. He is always trying to go up against the best wide receivers. Jones is smart player – he knows his plays, leads by example, and has good football IQ. Within the past several season, Jones has played multiple positions including safety and outside line backer. Nylen Jones is a versatile player and leader.

What were your stats this past season? 

I had 50 tackles, a couple tackles-for-loss, and 1 interception. 

What would consider to be your biggest asset on the field? 

I can play more than one position. 

Break that down for me, please. 

When I first played football on the field, I started at corner. Then, I made my way to playing safety. After that, it was outside line backer and last year, I was able to play mid- and inside linebacker.  

How has the transition been from offensive linebacker to free safety? 

I mean, it was easier for me because I was playing safety in tenth grade and being able to go back into it has been a better transition. 

So, being a part of the Madison Prep program – you guys went far into playoffs last year. This team has a phenomenal offense and because it’s great, the defense can get overlook sometimes. What are you doing on defense trying to build that defensive backfield up? 

Being more aggressive and really tackling. Last year, we had a lot of mistackles. 

The high expectations that have been created from the team’s performance – are they more motivation or pressure when it comes to achieving season goals? 

For me, it’s more motivation than pressure. 

Okay. Besides your drive to be in and win state championships, what motivates you to keep playing football? 

Just watching college and NFL players. They motivate me to keep going after what I want. 

What have you been doing during this pandemic to get better? 

I’ve been working out with the defensive back coaches – Coach Spears and Coach G – over the summer. 

Has your 40 time improved over the offseason? Transitioning from linebacker to safety, you have got to get faster. 

Yes. 

Right, and you’re also the last man before the touchdown. So, what have you done to improve your speed? 

I ran track with the high school. Before the pandemic, I ran the 400 and 800. 

What is your GPA? 

3.1

What would your teachers say about you – as a student? 

They would say I am a hard worker. I do tell a lot of jokes, but I get my work done when it needs to get done. 

What do you think your coaches would say about you? 

My coaches would say he’s a humble and coachable kid. He is disciplined and listens as well. 

What would a college be getting if they recruited you? 

A versatile player. 

Obviously because you can go from a linebacker to safety and back to linebacker again, if you wanted to. Alright, what kind of leader are you on your team? 

I tend to lead by example. 

What have you learned about yourself while playing football? 

I don’t give up easily and I am a hard worker.

As a senior going into the final season of your high school career, what advice do you have for the younger players on your team, and in general?

Mainly, learn from our mistakes, apply those lessons to the following practices and seasons, and perform better than how we did.

What makes you stand out as a football player? 

I’m a great communicator, I’m discipline, and I get the job done.  

Outside of football, what are some personal life achievements or goals you have that you would like to accomplish?

I would like to be an accountant. 

How fascinating to hear. Okay, you get to switch lives with a college or NFL player for a day. Who would you switch with and why? 

That’s hard … it has to be a player? 

Hm, I guess we can open the question up to coaches and staff as well. If you do pick a coach over a player, you definitely have to tell me why. Choose wisely. 

I would choose Bill Belichick, the general manager of the New England Patriots. I like his persona and work ethic as a whole.