Christion Jones Grew Up Tide Fan

Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones is comfortable in crimson. Students in elementary, junior high, and high schools across the state of Alabama are familiar with "Spirit Day." That's when the students dress in the colors of their favorite team.

Growing up in Adamsville on the outskirts of Birmingham, Christion Jones was all Alabama. "My family were Alabama fans," he said. "You're not able to choose. You grow up in a family, and that's what you are."

That meant wearing Crimson Tide gear. And he took part in his share of trash talk and arguments with fans of other schools.

He knew where he wanted to go to school. Now, he said, "My family gets to see me. And now that it's the Iron Bowl, they get to see their child, their nephew, their cousin play in this game."

Alabama hosts Auburn at 2:30 p.m. CST Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in the final regular season game of the year. CBS will televise the game. A Bama win sends the Crimson Tide to the Southeastern Conference Championship Game against Georgia on December 1.

It has changed for the 5-11, 185-pound sophomore. He has gone through 11 games this year, 10 of them victories. He understands the process. "We just go out and do what we have to do each week and treat this as a regular game," he said.

Jones is tied with Kevin Norwood for second on the team in receptions with 21 (behind freshman Amari Cooper, who has 40) for 284 yards and four touchdowns. He is also Bama's leader in punt returns with 19 for 204 yards, a 10.7 yards per return average, and in kickoff returns with six for 182 yards, including a 99-yard touchdown return against Ole Miss.

If there has been one issue for Jones this year it has been a couple of bobbles on punt returns, including one last week.

Jones said that he has made some bad decisions and that "it's something when you watch the film that you can correct. We're going to fix it and have it ready to go."

On the plus side, last week in a 49-0 win over Western Carolina, Jones was on the receiving end of a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback A.J. McCarron. And it wasn't just any touchdown pass. It was McCarron's 21st of the season, which is an Alabama single season record.

"It was real special for AJ and I thought that it was real cool that I was the one that caught the ball," said Jones.

But that was then and this is now.

"Practice has been going pretty well all week," Jones said. "We're just focusing on this week and going back to our fundamentals like always. Coach (Nick Saban) has got us pushing real hard. We're upbeat about this game. It's a good rivalry for the state of Alabama and so we're just taking this game just like we've taken every game all year."

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