Jireh Prep head football coach Ryan Williams talks about Mississippi State signee Dontea Jones

Two time Mississippi State signee Dontea Jones had the chance to open and close out the 2015 calendar year with official visits to Starkville. After coming up just shy of NCAA Clearinghouse muster, Jones enrolled at Jireh Prep in Matthews, North Carolina for the fall semester. After a strong showing in the classroom, Jones was granted clearance to enroll at Mississippi State.

Jireh Prep head football coach Ryan Williams was elated by the news that Jones was another Warrior success story.

"He came in here and worked really hard," Coach Williams said. "There is just no doubt about it. He's working hard down there too. I just heard from him a few days ago and he told me that he's already dropped 15 pounds in the time he's been down there at Mississippi State.

"This is a guy who was 205 two years ago and now he's running at about 260 pounds. He is a guy who has great size and talent. He has the chance to do a lot of things."

Williams reports that Jones played on both sides of the ball as needed during the 2015 football season. With spring practice in Starkville approaching, Williams believes Jones can fill a number of team needs.

"He played a lot of roles for us," Williams explained. "We played him some at defensive end, tight end and some at H back, which is sort of like a fullback lining up in the backfield for us. He did a lot of blocking for us out on the edge and he really excelled at that. He's a real physical football player.

"I think if he wants to play defensive end that he could be a potential NFL guy at defensive end. At the same time, he has those soft hands and he can run really well for a bigger guy.

"I know Mississippi State lost some guys at tight end, so that may end being where they need him the most. I think he can be a great player as a defensive end or a tight end. The sky is the limit for him."

In addition to his work on the field at the North Carolina prep school, Jones made a positive impact on the Jireh Prep community as a citizen and student.

"I am not sure how much of that we taught him to be honest," Williams said. "He brought most of that with him, so I have to give all of the credit for that to his family. They did a great job with him and he understands the importance of being respectful to other people.

"Our kids live in apartments, so Dontea was always over there telling the guys to keep things clean and to keep the noise down. He's just a really mature guy.

"I'm a grown man and there are some things that Dontea does better than me when it comes to maturity. He understands how to treat people and he understands the importance in hard work."

Williams reports that he will be more than just a casual observer when Mississippi State takes the field in the next few years.

"I am really excited for Dontea," Williams said. "I know how hard he has worked and I know what all he brings to the table. I think he is going have a real impact there at Mississippi State and that's really exciting. I am excited for him."

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