A basketball goal. A table. A football and some guidance. That’s all a young Gerald Jones needed to develop the moves that have resulted in offers from more than 20 schools, including Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Florida and Michigan.
“When I was younger, my grandpa took me in the backyard,” Jones said. “He put a basketball goal here, a table there and I’d run full speed and make a different move on each thing. I used to work on it. The moves I make, I kind of practice those.”
Practice makes perfect. Heading into his senior season at Millwood High School, Jones is poised to quarterback the Falcons to a state championship. One glance at Jones on film and you can see it. The quickness, the agility, the balance and the great feet that separate him from most ball carriers. All the elements that make him lethal in the open field.
“Every time I touch the ball I automatically think I’m going to score,” said Jones, who will likely play running back or receiver in college. “I’m not going to let one man bring me down. That’s telling me I didn’t try hard enough.”
It’s that kind of cocky confidence that makes Jones so hard to defend.
“I was always told, when you’re on the field, you have to be a little cocky and confident,” Jones said.
For Jones, the open field is home. It is a place where he’s supremely confident, comfortable and in complete control.
“Open field is like a free throw for Steve Nash; it’s automatic,” Jones said. “I’m always confident one-on-one in the open field; even if it’s two-on-one, it’s open field. So I have all that room to work with.”
Jones said he can visualize what is going to happen before it happens.
“I can actually make out what I’m going to do beforehand,” he said of open-field running.