Realizing A Childhood Dream

After committing to Colorado St. last month, Jyaz Jones flipped his pledge to Iowa a week ago. That meant he would be reunited with his brother, A.J. It was a fulfillment of a childhood dream.

Anjeus and Jyaz Jones teamed up at an early age. One year apart, the brothers played on the same pee-wee football squad.

Like many young athletes, they dreamed of someday performing on the big stage.

"We used to always say that we were going to go D-I together," Jyaz said.

That goal seemed out of reach last month when Jyaz verbally committed to Colorado State. Anjeus (A.J.) signed with Iowa in February.

Jyaz traveled with his parents last week when they brought A.J. to college. They gave the young Jones a tour of the Iowa campus.

"I was still committed to Colorado State but in my mind I was still thinking about where I really wanted to go," Jyaz said.

Jyaz tore his right ACL during his first spring practice at South Oak Cliff (TX) High. The Rams, who also originally had a pledge from A.J., reached out to him.

"When I committed to Colorado State, I had just gotten out of my surgery and I was down," Jyaz said. "I needed something to lift me up and I wanted to find a college I felt comfortable with. They called and said they wanted to honor my scholarship."

What the younger Jones did not know was that Iowa tried to contact him at that time. The Hawkeyes failed to connect.

"Coach (LeVar) Woods told me that they never dishonored my scholarship," Jyaz said. "He said they had been trying to call me. My phone has been broke. He said they were trying to tell me they wanted to honor my scholarship. It was always there waiting on me."

After hearing that from Woods, everything else came together for Jones on his unofficial, unofficial visit to Iowa last week.

"I fell in love with the coaches and the campus," Jyaz said. "My brother was going there. That was a plus for me.

"I got a chance to talk to all of the coaches. They made me feel comfortable and I felt like that was a better place for me."

Iowa views the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Jyaz as a future free safety. A.J. is coming to the program as a wide receiver.

Jyaz considered taking more college visits after committing to Iowa. He since has decided that he probably won't need to do that and is solid with his Hawkeye pledge.

Jyaz has a chance to return to the field for his senior season depending on his recovery. The estimated recovery time after surgery is 4-6 months.

"I'm in rehab three times a week," Jyaz said. " I ride a (stationary) bike about three miles a day. Every day at four, I work out with my team."

Like many ACL injuries, Jones' occurred in a nondescript way.

"I was working on one-on-ones with Fonzale Davis and he got me on a route," Jyaz said. "I tried to strip the ball, planted my right leg and my cleat got caught. My leg didn't move.

"I didn't know what it was right away. They helped me up and I couldn't run. I knew something was seriously wrong but I didn't really want to believe it."

The injury impacted Jones' psyche.

"I was very upset," he said. "Right after I got my surgery, I couldn't do anything. When I started to get my feet back up under me, my spirits started to be uplifted. I'm grinding now."

The idea of reuniting with A.J. motivates Jyaz to work hard on his return.

"It's a real, real good feeling," Jyaz said. "It's something we always talked about growing up. It's going to be a great feeling when I get up there."

Hawkeye Insider Top Stories