Jones thrives in first game at linebacker

Former safety reels in two interceptions to key Michigan State against Western Michigan on Friday night.

Michigan State senior Jairus Jones entered the 2013 season with zero career interceptions at the safety position.

Apparently, all it took was a move to linebacker for Jones to get some picks to his name as he had two in the Spartans' 26-13 victory against Western Michigan on Friday.

"I definitely didn't think it would be like that, but I got to make plays so that's all I was looking forward to," he said.

One of the interceptions led to a touchdown – after he lateraled it to safety Kurtis Drummond, who ran it 21 yards in for the score.

"If you ask anybody, any of the DBs when we do it on like Thursdays on a walkthrough, you get a pick and if you are about to get tackled, you pitch it or you look to pitch it," he said. "It's second nature."

Head coach Mark Dantonio said it was great instincts from Jones and also said it is something the Spartans practice.

"Those were instincts by Jairus and the running pattern by Kurtis Drummond, but it was clean," he said. "It was a clean lateral, a clean reception. The eye contact was to each other, it looked like there was no insecure situation."

With his second interception in the third quarter, Jones looked to lateral the ball again – but said it wasn't there.

"It felt like there was too many people around and it was too congested," he said. "If I woulda pitched it, he probably wouldn't have caught it. That would have been bad if I we got a turnover on our part."

Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said he got nervous when Jones looked to lateral the second time, but said the fact he gives the Spartans another athlete at linebacker is important.

"He has been a playmaker and that's why we got him there," he said.

Drummond said Jones adjusted well to linebacker, but it is a tribute to how smart he is on the field.

"He's an intelligent football player," he said. "He's transitioned real smooth, put on a few pounds this offseason. Basically, it's like another DB for us out there, another brain and a guy that communicates well and makes plays for us."


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