The season is off and running. How are you guys doing so far and how do you feel like you're playing, personally?
We're 3-0 right now and ranked 1 or 2 in Class 4A for Florida, so that's pretty big for us. We've been historically good over the years, so we're just trying to keep that tradition going. We've been improving every week and having a lot of fun, which I think is a big thing. If you're not having fun, there's no sense playing the game. But we have a very serious side, too. We know when it's the right time for both. As for my play, I've grown a lot, size-wise. That's the big thing. It's easier for me to take some of the hits I get. I'm still trying to put on some weight, but I'm a lot stronger than I was last year. I'd also say, just game experience. Having more experience under my belt helps a lot. Everything's working out great right now.
Do you notice people coming after you a little harder now that you're a quarterback committed to an SEC program?
(Laughs) Yeah. Every game, pretty much, people talk. "I'm coming for you, Mr. Kentucky." Stuff like that. That's a good feeling, though. It's good to know that they know about it, and it kind of tells me that they're a little concerned about me going into the game.
So you've been able to silence them so far?
Oh yeah. And my line does a good job of backing me up.
Have you had a big game so far, from a statistics standpoint?
This past weekend was a pretty good game for me. I only played a half, but I completed 13 of 15 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
I'm assuming you got a chance to see Kentucky's game against South Carolina?
Yeah. That was great. I watched it with my family. It was exciting to see the play-calling and the big plays that guys were making. It was a great team win for Kentucky. I was very happy for them. I'm ready to go up there this weekend and watch them play Florida. Coach (Shannon) Dawson told me it's crazy up there right now, so I can't wait to be in the stadium and be part of that exciting atmosphere.
A little bit of extra intrigue for you being a Florida guy?
I mean, it'll be weird. I grew up watching the Gators, guys like Chris Leake and Tim Tebow, and I'm familiar with all the coaches from Florida. It's going to be a little weird, but I'm hoping Kentucky will pull it off.
Watching Kentucky so far, what kind of excites you about being in that offensive system?
Well, coach (Mark) Stoops does a really good job of developing the whole program. That's number one. The players he's bringing in and the improvement they're showing, that's really exciting to be part of. As for the offensive scheme, I like how coach Dawson has the guts to do things a lot of offensive coordinators don't have the guts to do. He loves throwing the ball deep. He'll go for it on fourth down. He trusts his quarterback to make plays, especially with the vertical passing game. That's really vital to any good offense.
Growing up, was there a quarterback you most admired or tried to pattern parts of your game?
Tom Brady is probably the one, just the way he carries himself. And I consider myself to be a pro-style, pocket quarterback. I can run, too, but I like to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball like he does.
What do you like to do to get ready for a game? Do you listen to music to get hyped or anything like that?
Well, our coach is pretty traditional, so we don't really listen to too much music in the locker room, but every now and then we do it to get pumped up. I dance a little bit before the game. (Laughs)
Did you see the videos of Kentucky dancing after their South Carolina win?
Yeah. That was great. They looked like they were having so much fun. You wanted to be there with them.
Do you have a favorite football movie?
Oh, this is a tough one. I'd say "Friday Night Lights" for TV, and "Remember the Titans" for a movie. But "Friday Night Lights" the TV series is really great. I've watched that series a couple of times. Any time there's something on about football, I watch it, like the ESPN 30 for 30s and stuff like that. I love just watching sports in general. My dad (Gordon Jones) was a pro tennis player and all my siblings play in college, so I like watching tennis, too. Dad was No. 1 for FSU and actually beat (1983 French Open champion) Yannick Noah once. That was his big claim to fame.
A lot of Kentucky fans wish his son (former Florida Gator Joakim Noah) had played tennis, too...
Do you borrow anything from your dad's athletic experience in your football career?
He always gives me advice and is there for me, and even though they're different games, there are parts about them that are intertwined. He's a big competitor, but he's also really big on sportsmanship, so things like that. And having fun. We always talk about that. That's one of the reasons he still plays tennis today.
So I'm assuming you're the best quarterback in the family, but maybe the worst tennis player?
(Laughs) We used to have family doubles and stuff like that. My sister plays at College of Charleston, and my mom played tennis at Mercer University, so they're all pretty good. But I'm better than my brother, I know that much! I have a really good forehand and serve.
But none of them can throw a 20-yard out on a dime, right?
Well, my dad might be able to. He's not bad.