Arabia Mountain Rams wide receiver Jonathan Jones is heading to Orlando, Fla., to participate in the eighth annual Offense-Defense Bowl Week Dec. 30-Jan. 5.
The 17-year-old senior was named an Offense-Defense All-American based on his performance during the 2013 football season. Jones finished second among wide receivers in DeKalb County with 49 total receptions for 798 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
Jones said it was an honor to be named an Offense-Defense All-American.
“It showed me that all my hard work and focus on improving my skills were recognized,” he said.
The Offense-Defense All-American Showcase is part of a weeklong series of events, including the televised Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. The event also features the All-Star football game, which features 88 of the top high school seniors in the country and has featured current NFL pros such as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and others.
Jones, a two-sport athlete in football and track-and-field, was a key player in Arabia Mountain’s historical season. The Rams finished with its first winning record (7-3) in school history.
Jones has been player of the week at Arabia Mountain multiple times over the last three years. He holds Arabia Mountain records for the most kickoff and punt returns, the longest kickoff and punt returns and most yards as a wide receiver.
He is the only male track member at Arabia Mountain to place in individual events at the State Track meet finals. He is the current regional champion in the 200-meter dash and was a state finalist in 2012 placing fifth in the 400-meter. Jones also finished fifth at state in the 200-meter dash last year and is No. 2 in the county in the 200-meter dash.
Jones, who has not committed yet, said the college offers have been coming in slow but he hopes his All-American status will attract more interest.
“I hope [this selection] will increase my exposure to college coaches and recruiters and possibly lead to me receiving offers to play football on a college level,” he said.
Jones’ best statistical season came under new head coach Stanley Pritchett. His receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns went up this season Jones said playing under Pritchett taught him how to adjust to change and to stay focused on the game.
“Also, having a winning season helped to unite the team to the point that we began to gel and play as a team,” he said.
Jones’ success this season also led to an invitation to play in the 2013 D. L. Scott Coalition Bowl Senior All-Star game, which took place Dec. 21 at the Georgia Dome. The Senior All-Star Game highlights Georgia high school football players who have committed and shown “exceptional” effort and dedication to the game during their senior year.
Offense-Defense Sports has been running full-contact football instructional camps for the past 45 years and currently operates in approximately 40 camp locations nationwide every spring and summer. Jones said he is excited about the opportunity to participate in the Offense-Defense Bowl Week.
“I am looking forward to meeting new people, having fun, expanding my craft and catching the attention of some top football programs,” he said.
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