Journey Not Complete For Jones

When Greg Jones puts on his Michigan State jersey for the final time he is hoping to have reached many of the goals set by himself and his teammates. Jones spoke with about his excitement for the upcoming season, and why he made the choice to return.

The final chapter of Greg Jones's career at Michigan State is starting to be written. Having watched Greg grow as a person and player since his junior season at Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller High School, I've been give the chance to really know the Spartan linebacker more for his off the field charter.

Now, Greg is excited as he prepares for what many hope will be a magical season while at the same time knowing his college career has gone by way too fast.

"I am excited just a little bit. It is somewhat hard to admit this is going to be it for me. Just the other day I was doing our strength and conditioning work and coach told me this is my last Spartan Challenge. It was so hard for me to realize, I was excited about it being the last one I would ever have to do, but at the same time, I said wow, I will never have to do another one of these. That is when it hit me that this is almost all over."

When I first spoke with Greg back in high school, he made it clear he felt the calling to the Big Ten. At the time, Mark Dantonio and Pat Narduzzi were coaching at Cincinnati and Jones just was not feeling staying home and playing in the Big East. Therefore, an early verbal pledge went out to Minnesota. Looking back how much of a difference did the Spartans hiring Dantonio make.

"It did a lot, because I knew the Big Ten was the place for me. I liked Coach Dantonio from the first time I meet him and my parents really liked him. We also really liked Coach Narduzzi and Coach Tressel and the whole staff when they were in Cincinnati. When they came to Michigan State, we loved it and we were on that first ride to visit them here."

Has the Big Ten lived up to what Greg dreamed it would be?

"It has, even more than what I expected. The friendships I have made here in the Big Ten and the many teammates I have had have been tremendous to me. I have made many long-term friendships over the past four years. I was excited after my decision to just be able to play in the Big Ten in general, but looking back it has been more than even I could have expected."

While Jones knew he could leave his Spartan family early for the NFL Draft, he knows his time had not come yet to fulfill his dream of playing at the next level. Is he still excited about the choice he made?

"I am, at this point in time there is no turning back, and I'm not going to look back at last year. I am looking and playing for right now. My teammates are also playing for right now and are excited to win. I really feel motivated because the team has been putting in so much work and I have not seen that in a long time. The guys really wanted to get better and have been doing the little extra work to win and achieve our goals."

One thing that has been exciting for Greg has been watching Max Bullough grow since arriving on campus.

"Max has great natural talent to play linebacker. His father was a linebacker and there is such a great tradition in his family with Michigan State. He has all the tools needed to be a good player."

One guy Greg wants to see more of is William Gholston the Spartans prized recruit from the past class.

"William is not a guy I've seen a lot of, so I can't wait to see him when he gets the pads on and see how he reacts because that first week is a lot of adversity for a young player. I can remember that first week as a freshman, you want to give up and go home because there is nothing easy. Therefore, it is going to be interesting to see what happens and how he reacts when he is hit in the face. In high school, you get use to pushing everybody around, now in college the guys are a lot like you. However, I imagine he is going to do well from everything I have heard about him."

One of the things Greg has really learned to cherish is his relationship with Spartans defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi.

"I love him to death and he knows that. We have the same intensity when it comes to playing defense. Anytime we can get together and talk is great. I get excited hearing about the new game plan and how it is going to be like and what he has in store for the next game."

While the Spartans are off the radar in the Big Ten race, Greg feels the teams experience from last season will help them in the long run.

"We are very confident about what we feel we can do this season. I think coming into last year, there were a lot of expectations and we did not know what to think about it, as we were very surprised by it. This year we are not even thinking about it as we still have the goal to win every game."

While Jones knows his future is bright, he also knows there is unfinished business in the present. will be watching the final days of one of the best Spartans in Michigan State history finish his career in the coming months as the Spartans look to surprise the college football world and win a Big Ten Championship.

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