It actually happened.
During his junior year at Blythewood HS in a playoff game against Blue Ridge HS, Jones hauled in eight touchdown catches. Fast forward a few years and Jones currently sits second on the depth chart behind pre-season first-team ACC selection Jacoby Ford.
As Ford continues to be held out of practice with an injured hamstring, the door for Jones to get first-team repetitions has been opened. He's turning the right heads and picking up some heady comparisons along the way.
"He's been extremely consistent so far," said Coach Dabo Swinney, adding that Jones has only had one drop so far during camp. "He's really learned to play a lot faster. He looks a lot like Jacoby did coming into that sophomore year as far as the progression that he's made."
Having good hands and making sure he catches everything that comes his way was something Jones' father stressed a long time ago.
"Since I was a little kid, my dad always told me not to drop the ball," he said. "It's been instilled in me since a very young age."
Jones, who said he's taking every advantage he can of the first team reps, realizes how much he's developed since his freshman year when he had eight catches. Like Swinney said, Jones feels that he's playing with more speed.
He's got a breath of confidence, reacting and not thinking about what to do or how to do it.
"I feel extremely confident right now. I'm not thinking I'm just going out and playing fast. I'm just playing with my instincts now," he said.
Jones won't be bothered by losing his first team reps upon Ford's return, which could be as early as Wednesday.
"There's competition, but we all congratulate each other when someone does something good," he said. "Whatever we've go to do to make the team better."
Rotating in and out of several wide receiver positions, most of Jones' work has come at the ‘A' receiver, which Ford plays.
"It helps me when I can jump in there and play with the first team," he said. "Those repetitions are very important."
"His confidence is at an all-time high right now," added Swinney. "It's been a blessing in disguise for him to get this opportunity."
Marquan Jones making his mark
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