Barrett Jones Goes To Haiti To Work
As Barrett Jones watched the disaster of the earthquake in Haiti unfold, he did more than watch, more even than contribute with a telephone text or somesuch. He made up his mind to give of himself, and found a way to do it. As a result, the upcoming sophomore is in the ravaged Caribbean nation today, preparing to assist those who have lost much.
Among those he will be working with are those children who have lost parents, the orphans of Haiti.
Following Alabama's first day of spring football practice Friday, Jones talked about spending spring break in Pignon, Haiti. Once a town of about 20,000, it is now a refugee camp of some 100,000.
Jones said he found a way to participate through Eikon Ministries of Memphis, his hometown.
"A month and a half ago, I saw what was going on over there," Jones said. "I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time – kind of give back. The only time I have an opportunity to do that is spring break, because we have such a demanding schedule. I had been praying about an opportunity like this. When I saw it, I felt led. This is where God was leading me to go."
In addition to his work with orphans, Jones will put his strong back to use, unloading supplies and distributing them "to the people who need them."
Jones was a Freshman All-America last year for the undefeated national championship Crimson Tide. He started every game at right guard. He was also Academic All-Southeastern Conference and second team Academic All-America. Next fall his brother, tight end Harrison Jones, will join him on the Tide football team. (Harrison is not with his brother in Haiti.) Their father, Rex, was an Alabama basketball player.
Jones and his Alabama teammates return with other University students from spring break on March 22,and the Crimson Tide will resume spring football practice.
The team will have 15 practice days, the last one on April 17, the annual A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff will be at 2 p.m. CDT with no admission charge and national television coverage by ESPN.
Jones said it seemed it had been a "pretty quick transition" from winning the national championship to starting practice for the 2010 season. "I've excited as far as the possibilities of what this team can do," he said. "I'm ready to re-start the whole process and win another national championship."
Jones said Coach Nick Saban and his staff have made it clear that this is a new team, that it "has not done anything yet."
He said, "They definitely don't want us to be satisfied. They want us to be hungry. We have an opportunity to be a great team, but we have a lot of work to do."
Jones isn't speculating as to how the offensive line will come together with at least two new starters. Both left guard All-America Mike Johnson and right tackle Drew Davis have graduated. Jones, left tackle James Carpenter, and center William Vlachos are returning starters. (Vlachos had off-season foot surgery and isn't expected to participate in the spring.)
"We came together last year," Jones said. "I expect them to try a lot of combinations and see what gels. We have a lot of guys competing for positions."
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