More Than a Passing Interest

Former Mississippi State standout Omarr Conner knows a thing or two about what an SEC wide receiver should look like. Conner spent three seasons dialing up Bulldog wideouts before making the transition from pass thrower to pass catcher as a senior. Now a high school coach, Conner plays the role of a proud papa as his prized pupil, Dontea Jones, has emerged at the state's top receiver prospect.

Dontea Jones profile

"Dontea is one of the most humble players that anyone is ever going to coach," said Conner. "He is just a great player to have around.

"He is always asking for advice and he is always willing to run another route to try and get better.

"He comes out there and competes everyday."

Jones is a bigger target out in the pass pattern, so he has some natural attributes that only add to his strong work ethic.

"Dontea is best in isolation or in the one-on-ones," explained Conner. "We like to get him outside, get him the ball and let him make plays after the catch.

"Dontea has exceptional speed and a 6-5 frame.

"The best thing to do with Dontea is to just let him play."

While Jones has some huge advantages as a football player, his position coach is pushing him to continue to develop into a more polished product.

"I have really been working with him on doing a better job with his routes," said Conner. "I mean, Dontea has gotten so much better running his routes this spring.

"It doesn't matter if I need him to run a curl, a slant, a seam route or get vertical, Dontea can do it all and he is a more complete player now.

"I can see him being a dominant player on the college level.

"One of the things that is going to help him the most is that he is always asking what he needs to do to make his game better."

Conner reports that in addition to being a strong football player, Jones will be a great ambassador for Mississippi State.

"I always told Dontea that he needed to pray about his decision and that whatever place God put in his heart is where he needed to go," said Conner. "Mississippi State is where he felt led to go.

"He is going to be another great receiver to come through there.

"He is a respectful and honorable young man.

"He is a kid who is going to work hard and a kid who is going to do the right things.

"He is a guy who is going to come in to work hard and compete.

"He is going to come in hungry and not be satisfied.

"I know he's going to represent Mississippi State the right way and he's going to make Mississippi State people proud of him."

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