Montrell Jones ready for his return

Following a year of sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules, Montrell Jones is preparing for his return to game action.

A year ago Louisville Male product Montrell Jones had just recently departed ways with the University of Tennessee football program and decided to return home to the River City and join the hometown Cardinals.

Jones was one of the nation's top prospects as a senior at Male High School in 2000 and was honored by numerous publications, including and USA Today, as a prep All-American. However, because of NCAA transfer rules, Jones' talent wouldn't be seen by the public for yet another year.

Now, with a year in the Bobby Petrino offensive system in his belt and in the process of summer conditioning, Jones, a 6-foot-0, 200-pound wide receiver, once again looks forward to receiving game action.

"I can smell it getting close," said Jones of the upcoming 2004 football season. "Everything is getting back into football form for me and I am feeling a lot more comfortable with the offense and I'm ready to go."

Jones, who played in six games as a true freshman for the Volunteers and eleven games as a sophomore, provides more than just an excellent target for quarterbacks while on the field.

"I like to keep the tempo up and keep everybody going and having fun playing," explained Jones. "That's what I really try to do with this game, because I don't take anything for granted. I know that it could any day, so I try to go out and have every time I step on the field. It doesn't matter if it is practice, or just throwing routes or game day, I take the same momentum into everything."

Jones joins a talent laden group of receivers at U of L and is utilizing each off season workout session to further improve his relationship and timing with the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year, quarterback Stefan Lefors.

"We have some good quarterbacks here and Stefan is throwing the ball good, so I am really looking forward to this season," Jones continued. "I want to keep getting better and keep getting to know the offense even more and get more comfortable with all of the quarterbacks that are here and get ready to go on September 5th."

Having played Kentucky twice while at Tennessee and growing up in Louisville, Jones is quite familiar with the rivalry between the two schools, but the junior doesn't focus on the hype surrounding the contest, but instead remains focused to the play on the field.

"It's going to be interesting," said Jones. "I played them when I was at Tennessee and wasn't well liked then, but I'm just going to go out and play football. The crowd doesn't really affect me, because I am focused on everything between the lines."

Possibly the most impressive attribute of Jones is his desire to help his teammates and the Cardinal football program improve, which may also come as a kick returner this fall.

"My overall goal is to help the team out," Jones said. "This year I'll be returning punts and kicks and that is another thing that I am looking forward to. That is another part of my game that people haven't seen since high school and I think I can help the team out a lot in that way."

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