WR Continues to Work Hard

Khalil Jones is one of the hardest working players on the team on and off the field. Last season he received the Mariutto Scholar Athlete award for academic excellence. This spring he is doing everything he can to prepare for the 2006 season.

For those who have followed Khalil Jones' career at UM very closely would know what a great future he has ahead of himself.

The young man from Northwestern High School is not only a talented football player, but a bright energtic humble individual who will do great things in his life after the University of Miami regardless if it has to do with football.

After staying nearly 30 minutes after practice on Wednesday and was the last one off the field, I caught up with Khalil to discuss his work ethic.

"Things are going great this spring," said Jones. "You have two hours of practice and if you really want to be great, you have to stay after practice to work on all of the little things."

Jones knows what it takes to be playing at a high level. After all, he knows what the guys before him did to get where they are.

"All of the great receivers who came through here, Santana Moss, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, and all the rest of them, they didn't just do it on the field in practice. It takes every little minute you can get to yourself to focus on specific drills because practice is fast-paced from drill to drill," said Jones.

Jones credits former wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson for stressing to work on the little things during and after practice.

"The little things are what is going to make us great players," Jones added.

Last season Jones played in all 12 games and caught two passes for 30 yards after redshirting in 2004.

Ryan Moore, Darnell Jenkins, and Lance Leggett are the top three receivers on the team with Jones behind them.

Khalil knows where he's at with the depth chart and is continuing to work hard to improve for when his time comes.

"I believe there is a secret for everything," Jones said. "Some players come here and they are fortunate enough to jump right in, but not everything works out as planned. You just have to hope you prepared enough when it is your time."

After completing six days of spring practice Jones assessed his performance.

"I am just taking it one day at a time out here," said Jones. "I am not so much judging how I am doing, but if I can be better than I was the day before then I thank the Lord for it and focus my attention on the next day by going into the film room to evaluate myself. Then come out the next day and be better."

Jones and the rest of the receives have had to adjust to a new offensive coaching staff including wide receivers coach Marques Mosely.

"He is very similar to coach C.J.--fun, but work," Jones said. "That was something coach C.J. was great at and everyone knew he was going to work you, but when it was time to teach you he could do that too. I think coach Mosely can compliment that and he wants to build on what coach C.J. left. So far it has been good and I think it will be better as we get to know each other."

The most notable change on the offensive side of the ball has been the addition of Rich Olson as the offensive coordinator/running backs coach.

"It has been great because we have so many different looks," Jones said. "In the first few days we were running all kinds of new things. It is just exciting to see what will happen in the future. The main thing is to improve on the little things and take it one day at a time."

At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds with great speed, Jones has a lot of physical talent. Mix that in with hard work, being coachable, and becoming a better student of the game and Jones is destined for success when his time comes.

Working hard has always been something Jones has been known for. The summer before Jones enrolled at UM in 2004, he was out on the practice fields working hard and running route trees.

Jones concluded, "You always have to work hard because your break will come one day so you better be ready."

The Hurricanes return to practice on Saturday at 9:30 a.m., but remains closed to the public.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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