STILLWATER – Don't think Richetti Jones doesn't know coaches and fans have been longing for his “arrival” at Oklahoma State.
He's been waiting, too, having totaled just 14 total tackles in two seasons since joining the Cowboys as the “next big thing” in 2007.
And that makes it all the more exciting for him that the talk is it is Jones' time to shine.
“Finally,” he said. “I'm just ready to step up and make plays for my team and be the player that I used to be.”
“Wait, you know what?” Jones said, a wide grin overtaking his face, “I don't want to just be the player I used to be, I want to better than I used to be. I want to be a new person.”
Once upon a time, and it seems a distant time ago, Jones projected as an answer to Oklahoma State's ongoing struggle to attract elite defensive line help. He was rated among the nation's elite prep defensive ends, a sackmaster coming out of Dallas' Lincoln High.
But that was before a freak hip injury halted his prep senior season and stunted his development in Stillwater as he overcame the setback both physically and mentally.
Jones redshirted in '07, played sparingly in '08, then more as a backup a year ago when he managed nine tackles, albeit three for sacks.
Now – yes, finally – there are signs that Jones might be primed for a breakout.
“Richetti is stepping up,” said OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young. “He's really playing better. He made a great play for a sack in the two-minute drill (in Saturday's scrimmage).
“He's just getting better and better.”
And that's good news for a defense in transition from massive turnover and needing the ends to be a boost for a defensive front carrying depth concerns inside.
If this is Jones' official arrival, it's right on time.