2 Minute Drill with Reggie Jones

A cornerback with outstanding instincts, REGGIE JONES has seen significant playing time - when healthy - since joining the program in 2004. Both his freshman and sophomore seasons were cut short by injury, but the junior has put his game together and is coming off a phenominal offseason. We caught up with Idaho's starting left cornerback today to get his thoughts on the upcoming season.

REGGIE JONES, Idaho's starting left cornerback as the Vandals prepare for their season opener at Michigan State in a week and a half, did something impressive in high school. He earned All State honors as a senior despite playing on a team the went winless his senior year. That is rare.

A versatile athlete, he was Kent-Meridian's starting cornerback throughout his senior season and was a two-way starter as the team's #1 runningback early in the season. Injuries forced Reggie to move from runningback to starting quarterback, and he rarely came off the field.

In addition to All State honors, his efforts earned him a ranking as Scout.com's #55 high school prospect in their annual Northwest Hot 100 selection.

Reggie has played in every game since his true freshman season (except those missed due to injury).
He signed with Idaho in February of 2004, and by the fourth week of his freshman season was Idaho's starting cornerback when the Vandals won on the road at Eastern Michigan. He played in five games as a true freshman that year before an injury cut his season short (he registered 7 tackles on the year).

Last fall he made it four games into the season before a bizarre torn retina injury (in an Idaho season loaded with bizarre injuries, including Luke Smith-Anderson's ruptured spleen and Jade Tadvick's emergency appentectomy) ended his season short again. He would go out with 11 tackles in four games.

Despite the injury, Jones came back this spring with a vengeance and has been one of Idaho's top cornerbacks throughout spring and fall drills. Coaches have stated in numerous publications that he has stepped up his game this offseason, and is going into the opener as Idaho's #1 left cornerback opposite newcomer Stanley Franks, a JC transfer who will man the right cornerback position. Among the fastest players on the team, Jones has been impressive in run support and in coverage throughout both camps.

Idaho also bolstered their cornerback depth chart this offseason with four newcomers (JC transfer Kiel McDonald, redshirt freshman Bryan Dukes, and true freshmen General Parnell and Terrance McCoy) who will likely see plenty of action this fall.

Gaylen Wood caught up with Jones after practice this afternoon to talk with him briefly about the upcoming season and his expectations for his performance in 2006.

VV: Reggie, you've been a starter here at Idaho - when you've been healthy - since your true freshman year. What are your expectations for yourself and your defense this fall?

RJ: Man. The expectation is just to stop big plays and make big plays; I mean, just to get recognized by our conference as a very good secondary.

Jones is coming off a fantastic offseason to claim the starting left corner position for the season opener at Michigan State.
VV: We've noticed in the scrimmage today and the scrimmages throughout the camp here you guys get a lot of people on the ball on every play. Is that intentional?

RJ: Oh, yeah. Our coaches, coach Mills and coach Brice, they stress it every day: Swarm, swarm, swarm. I mean we're just always trying to fly to the ball.

VV: Excellent. In your opinion, what aspect of your game is your biggest strength, and what are some of the things you do best as a cornerback?

RJ: Hmm. I play with a lot of emotion, and partly my cover skills and ball skills.

VV: Okay. How do you like the physical skills of the defense and the secondary this year compared to the past years you've been here?

RJ: Our safeties, they just come down and bang anybody. I love that. Even little Shiloh, a true freshman. He's coming down and banging, and I just love that about our secondary.

Alundis Brice has been Idaho's cornerbacks coach for 3 years.
VV: Okay. Coach Brice has been Idaho's cornerback coach now for three years. Could you describe coach Brice and what it's meant to you to have the same coach for your whole time here at Idaho?

RJ: I grew up without a dad; so I mean he's kind of been like a father figure since I came up here, and he's helped me through a lot of things. On the field, I mean he's just…he's inspirational. He's always pushing me, pushing our corners, pushing our safeties, everybody, to be the best that we can be, and I look up to him a lot. I want to get to where he's been.

VV: One last question that's kind of a fun favorite one. What's your favorite band or favorite music, and why?

RJ: My favorite band? I'd say…that's a tough one. There's a lot of bands out there. Uh, I guess our band, Goon Squad. We've got a little band down here.

VV: Really?!

RJ: Yeah. There's me, Lee Jones, Brandon Ogletree, and Tracy Ford. We've got our own little band.

VV: You've got your own gigs now?

RJ: (laughing): Yeah. We're planning on making a song for the Dome for game day.

VV: Excellent! Super. We'll be looking for it. Thanks, Reggie.

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