The redshirt sophomore from Walled Lake, Michigan is intent on reaching an elite status in the coming season.
“I feel like I didn’t do what I wanted to do,” Jones said. “I feel like I played a little average but this year, I am just going at 2015 with a full head of steam, trying to prove myself.”
It hard to imagine where Jones would feel his play was average last season. He started eight games in 2014 and finished as NC State’s fifth-leading tackler. One of his picks last season was critical, a late-game interception at Syracuse to seal a big conference win (Dave Doeren’s first with the Wolfpack) on the road.
The win over the Orange started a pivotal late-season run that led NC State to finish with an 8-5 record, including a win over Central Florida in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl in Tampa.
For his hard work, Jones was named Honorable Mention to CFN’s Freshman All-American Team. However, he remains committed to honing his game, and he sees more potential in several aspects.
“I can improve in all areas; Man-to-man coverage and playing the ball,” Jones said. “Just everything. I can improve in all areas on and off the field.”
“Hakim is an experienced guy, he is going on his third year and [Wright], I played with him all of last year so it is good having all of those guys,” Jones said. “It is a comfortable feeling.”
“It is good playing with Coach White,” Jones said of the NC State graduate who spent three seasons in the NFL. “I love him. He is a good coach. He gets everything out of me. He knows me so he knows how to coach me.”
While Jones is hard on himself, he is pleased with the progress made during the offseason. With the Kay Yow Spring Game looming, he is particularly eager to get on the playing field in front of Wolfpack Nation at Carter-Finley Stadium.
“Spring has been going great,” Jones said. “I have been working hard. I am back in. I feel like we have got an experienced group in the back end. I am geeked up. We have had two scrimmages, Now it is time to turn it on in front of the fans. I am excited to get out there. Hopefully, it is a good day out and we can put on a good show for the fans.”
“It is crazy,” Jones said of playing at Carter-Finley. “When you walk out there it is loud and packed. When you are on the field, you really can’t hear anything because the fans are going crazy. NC State fans, there is nothing like them. They are loyal fans. It is real good to play in The Carter.”