Millwood High School QB Coach answers questions about coaching freshman Gerald Jones and his future at the University of Tennessee. Huge thanks to Kevin Cox for taking the time to answer these questions Also, to the Posters at VolTalk and SEC Talk who submitted them. Without further adieu:
TDFoster: We have all seen how fast and elusive Gerald can be. What other abilities does Gerald have that we might not have seen yet or don't know about yet that you think will make him a great player in UT history?
ANSWER: His Ability to see the whole field is one that comes to mind. He has such great vision and at all times he seems to know where defenders are on the field. His ability to set defenders up is somthin special also. He can side-step a defnder and then spin off another defender and be back at top speed in 2-3 steps. He is one of those kids that can turn a busted play into a 80 yard TD and leave you saying, How did he do that. There was one game his JR. year against our Rival and he had a run where he made all 11 defenders miss him and then reversed fields and went 60 for a TD and looked at our HC and said I have never seen anything like that on any level. About 10 minutes later he spun of two guys and then took 4-5 steps and spun off 2 more and went 30 yards for a TD and I looked at our HC and said I have never seen that. I think in his last two years I said those exact words about 60 times. I consider myself lucky because he is one of those rare once in a lifetime kind of kids that you may never get to coach again. I'm even luckier that I was his position coach and got the chance to have the relationship that I have with him now.
SavageOrangeJug: If Fulmer called and asked at what position you thought Jones would be the most productive. What would your answer be?
ANSWER: I would Say to him whichever position will get the ball in his hands the most. I firmly Believe that Mr. Jones could play 6 positions at D-1 level. QB/RB/WR/CB/FS/SS. 8 if you wanna throw Kick returner and Punt returner in there. I told Gerald that I thought he could play in the NFL for 10-14 years as a CB and I still think that he could. But he is a playmaker with the ball in his hands and he feels that he is best suited on the offensive side of the ball. I think he can make it in the NFL as a WR also because he is physical, Has shown he can make tough catches in traffic, Is a ferocious Blocker and not to mention the kid has an unbelievable Vertical which helps him with him being only 6'. I think all in all WR is a great position for him at UT.
OrangeCrush: Have you had any other prospects from your school go to Tennessee or other SEC schools that we have heard of?
ANSWER: We haven't had any other kids go to Tennessee. We have two kids that are at Texas Tech now. One is playing football, his name is Tramain Swindall. The other is Gil Roberts he is a track guy at Tech but had offers from Kansas State, Missouri, Baylor, Tulsa and pretty much one from Arkansas for football. In Track he had offers from LSU, Arkansas, Florida, OU, Baylor and a ton of other ones. He was a national Champion in the 400m and was ranked in the top 3 in the nation in the 200m. Swindall was offered by Arkansas, Michigan St., Texas A&M, Missouri, Texas Tech, Kansas St. and a few others. He will start at WR for Texas Tech next year and I strongly believe that he will play in the NFL. His upside is incredible.
Was Gerald's offensive gameplan anything like how Tennessee is currently using him/might use him in the future?
ANSWER: Thats a good question. I know our gameplan with him was to give him 12-15 carries a game and to let him throw around 15 times. When we got deep into the playoffs we increased his carries and dropped his pass attempts because of the wind. We had a couple of games in 45mph wind. I Dont see UT getting the ball in his hands that much because they have a lot of other extremely talented athletes. I like how they are running speed option with him. We ran the speed option about 4 different ways and most of the time it basically became QB Zone because He found and hit the creases so fast. He is scary good when it comes to running the option. I have seen a lot of people compare him to Pat White and I fully agree that he runs the ball like that but I think that he throws a better ball than White does. I think that Coach Cut will continue to find new ways to use Gerald in the offense and I think by the time its said and done that Gerald will be remembered with the Best of the Best at Tennessee.
Ole Smokey: If you could pick one player from your team currently that you think could come to UT and make an impact who would it be?
ANSWER: I would say as of know a Soph MLB named Trayvon Henry. He is a physical Specimen that can flat out play football. He is 6'2'' 210 and runs a 4.55-4.6 40. He averaged 18 tackles a game for us. He is a sideline to sideline kind of LB that loves to blow people up. He plays very similar to Mayo in my opinion. I think He'll have a great shot in playing in the Army All-American Game his SR year. We have a Freshman QB and WR that are both going to be very special players as well. If they keep progressing I think that they could be Army All-American type guys too.
crusse10: How did you feel when you saw Gerald go out and play as the QB in the SEC Championship Game?
ANSWER: It was a great (feeling). Gerald and I were pretty close and we still are. I try and talk with him just about everyday. I am very aware of his physical abilites and the crazy thing is that UT hasnt even scratched the surface of what he can do. I wish that they would have stayed with it a little more and forced LSU to make them get out of it but then again I'm not really sure how much Coach Cut had it in his gameplan. I think over the next 2-3 years we will see Gerald back there more and more.
fernandomike: How well do you think Jones has acclimated to things at UT and in the SEC? Do you think that he will eventually become strong enough throwing the ball to garner a lot of playing time at quarterback or is he primarily a receiver who will simply be brought in on special plays?
ANSWER: I think he has acclimated very well to UT and the SEC. It says alot about what kind of kid he is with him having to go through the hamstring at the beginning of the year and then hearing his number called at the Alabama game and going out there and making 2 nice grabs. A lot of kids wouldnt be mentally prepared for that, but he was. He has a great work ethic and he always wants to be the best, whether its playstation, football, basketball, bowling. He is a great competitor.
Now to him as a passer. To be honest with you he is a strong enough passer right now. His SR year I think He could have gone to the Elite 11 camp and been one of the top QB's there. He has pretty strong arm, He can make all of the throws. Im not sure hopw much he throws the ball everyday up there but if he was throwing everyday then I think He would be very effective at QB. Now as to what I think they'll do with him. He'll stay at WR and they'll put him in what you guys like to call the "G-Gun" and let him to what he does out of that. I hope in the future it gets to be about 10-12 snaps a game at QB. Its hard as a defense because they have to worry about him running it, Handing it off, and throwing it.
Vols Fall in SECCG
Fans and players of the Tennessee Vols were mad Saturday night. A game that most looking back, think the Vols should have won. All hopes of the Sugar Bowl were burried Saturday night, when fans watched in dismay as Tennessee's Erik Ainge threw a pick-six to Jonathan Zenon giving LSU a 21-14 lead with just 9:54 left. The Vols then drove back down the field hoping to tie it up when Darry Beckwith picked off another Ainge pass to seal it, and send the Vols home with a game that "got away from them". It was most likely the defense's best game of the season who held the LSU offense to just 13 points.