CoachSpeak: Cook on Chris Jones

Houston (MS) High School head coach Billy Cook, who played SEC football at Mississippi State, talks about his senior defensive end Chris Jones, a Mississippi State commitment.

  • Name: Chris Jones
  • Classification: 2013
  • High School: Houston (MS) High School
  • Position: Defensive End
  • HT:-WT: 6-foot-6, 250
  • 3-Star
  • Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State

    Cook knows the type athlete who can play in the SEC. And he sees that type athlete in Jones.

    "There is no doubt that he will be able to succeed on that level," said Cook. "I think he can play either defensive end or defensive tackle in the SEC because he has the frame where he can add weight or he can stay at his current weight and stay at defensive end."

    It wouldn't surprise Cook if Jones excels on the next level due to his natural ability.

    "Chris is a freak athlete due to his size, speed, wingspan and his raw talent," said Cook. "Anybody who is 6-foot-7 and 250 and runs like he does and has all the tools as an athlete makes him a freak athlete."

    Mississippi State had another freak athlete on the defensive line the past three years - Fletcher Cox, who was an NFL first-round draft pick in the last draft. Cook sees some similarities between the two players.

    "I don't want to say he is one person or the other but he does have the tools to have the potential of Fletcher," said Cook. "He has the same type build, same type frame where he can add more weight, more muscle and keep his speed."

    It's easy to see that combination of speed and size in Jones but one thing you don't see unless you are around him every day is his leadership ability.

    "What is really unique about him is his leadership," said Cook. "You have a kid who is already committed to (Mississippi) State and is out on the practice field doing up and downs with other players even though he doesn't have to do them. He's helping other players, talking to them, patting them on the back. He has, by far, stepped up and become one of the best leaders on our team."

    Cook is expecting big things from Jones this season.

    "I think he is going to be a lot better player this year because he has a year in our system and he has an off-season under his belt," said Cook. "(Plus) he has gone to camps and picked up better technique from the different college coaches."

    During the first two games of the 2012 season, Jones has helped lead his team to a 2-0 record while recording 15 tackles (6 solos), 2 caused fumbles and 1 recovered fumble.

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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