September 18, 2020

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Diamond In The Rough: Tariq Jones

Tariq Jones is currently a senior at McDonogh 35 High school listed at 6’3 230lbs. Going into this year he is a 4-star player with an 8.6 rating as a defensive end/ outside linebacker. Tariq has solid size for a linebacker and shows quickness with his feet and hands when pass rushing. He has high expectations and even higher confidence while still being humble and wanting to be a leader and a team player first.  

When did you start playing football? 

I started playing football at the age of 9. 

Have you always played on the defensive line/linebacker? 

Well I was always over the limit, so they always had me at offensive of defensive line. 

What’s one of your biggest personal accomplishments? 

Achieving 22 sacks my first full year starting. 

Was last year your first full year starting? 

Well I was starting my 10th grade year, but I got hurt so I missed the year. 

I wasn’t aware you got hurt. What kind of injury was it and have you fully recovered? 

It was a shoulder injury. It still hurts sometimes, but I’m alright. 

What are your expectations going into the year? 

Hopefully we get to have a season. I plan on making it to the championship, like everyone else and I’m trying to get the school sack record. 

Is there anyone from college or pros that you try to model your game after? 

As a pass rusher probably K’Lavon Chaisson.  In coverage, probably Deion Jones. 

You mentioned Deion Jones, have you played on the inside at all? 

This year coach said I’m going to inside linebacker. 

The middle linebacker is the leader of the defense, are you ready for that? 

Yes sir, I’ve played on the inside a little bit before. I know what I’m supposed to do and I’ve been working out on the inside. I’m ready to play any position my team needs me to play. 

What do you think you need to improve on most entering this season? 

Being more violent as a pass rusher and improving my coverage. 

How have you stayed in shape since the shut down? 

I don’t have a weight set at home, so I do push-ups and ab workouts and jog around. Now I can go do workouts with the team. 

What do you do during your free time? 

Watch film mostly. I like relax too, but mostly just watch film to try and improve my game. 

Do you play any other sports or have you? 

I’ve played basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis and I was even a lifeguard at one point.  Doing all that helped me stay in shape after football season. 

What has playing football done for you? 

It has kept me out of trouble, helped me keep a good head on my shoulders. 

What do you love most about playing football? 

I love my family being able to watch me play and football is the only sports other than MMA or boxing where you can hit someone without getting in any trouble. 

How do you get ready for a game? 

I listen to music and eat. When we get ready for warm-ups, I like to hype the team up. 

How do you feel about yourself as a player and a teammate? 

As a player I’m coachable, I’ll do whatever the coaches ask of me.  As a teammate I will always be there to help my brothers and they know that. 

What motivates you to play football? 

I want to help my family out, and I want to inspire tis younger generation. I want to be a good role model. 

What advice do you have for this younger generation? 

Take in everything you can from your teammates, learn as much as you can while you can.