In a great year for linebackers across the country, Jon Major is one of the elite and very best in the country. He seems almost too good to be true as he is a prototypical linebacker and student/athlete in every sense of the word. He has been a dominant force at linebacker since his sophomore season, and he is also one of the top baseball players in the state hitting close to .500 before he broke a small bone in his hand.
Major is a coaches' dream and without question a player that coaches love to coach.
"He is so coachable," said Ponderosa Head Football Coach Randy Huff. "It is the way he studies game film and the way he studies our defense. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of our own defense, and he obviously studies the tendencies of our opponents' offense. Those are the keys about him and he has been that way since he came in as a sophomore into our program. He is a great kid."
Major also has the privilege of playing on the same team where his father Ken is the secondary coach.
"You get great support when you come home," said Major. "Plus, you kind of get to know what is going on with the whole team. I want to know as much as I can because I want to be a leader on the team. It is good to know what is going on both sides of the ball. We have fun talking sports when we get home. When it is football season we talk about what is going on in football, and then when it is baseball season we talk about what is going on with the baseball team."
A year ago, Major finished with 109 tackles and 16 tackles for loss. He also had five forced fumbles and one interception in just seven games.
"We play him at one of our inside linebackers," said Huff. "We have the ability to move that position around to match the offensive formation and what not. He plays a little bit of everything. We have actually lined him up at free safety at certain games and situations. We have lined him up at outside backer and with his size and temperment, we like to send him on blitzes. We have him involved in a little bit of everything on our defense."
Major likes playing inside at the moment, but he knows that he could move to outside linebacker in college.
"I play more of an inside linebacker right now," said Major. "I think most of the teams recruiting me look at me as an outside linebacker. I have been recruited at both positions really. I have been told I could probably play anything. I am pretty versatile so I can move around."
Major has the size and speed that you think all great linebackers have, but that is not what makes him so good.
"As a high school coach, we don't get caught up in that stuff," said Coach Huff. "When you get a kid that is 6-foot-3 and runs like Jon does at 220, plus he has a mean streak to him that you would never guess if you are talking to him, it is almost like psychotic meanness. He just turns into a different person on the football field. He hustles, he is a leader and he pulls his teammates with him. He has a good group in front of him. Last year, the D-line protected a lot of things allowing him to run free and hopefully we can rebuild that this year."
Most guys who play the game in a violent way don't always view themselves as mean football player, and Major is no exception.
"If I described my temperment I would say I am pretty calm," said Major. "I try to stay relaxed because it is a sport where you can't be dwelling on past plays. You want to be a monster out there and play a high consistent level, and I think to do that I need to be as calm as possible."
Major is so talented he can sign with just about any team in the country.
"I have over 30 schools that have offered me officially and over 40 when you count those that have verbally committed, but none of those are real until I receive an offer letter," said Major. "I have nothing final, but a few of the schools who have offered me that I am very interested in are Colorado, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas and Michigan. We have already seen quite a few schools unofficially. We have visited Washington, UCLA, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Colorado. Everything is interesting to watch from the fans to the teams' support. That is the big difference between some of the teams. I have been to just Junior Days so far."
So what are his thoughts on Oklahoma at this time?
"It sounds like a great place, from what I have been talking to the coaches about," said Major. "It is a place that I want to get out and see and I am excited to learn more about it. I hope I can get out and see Oklahoma this summer. I would like to see Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, and I hope to see a top school back east this summer. Coach (Brent) Venables is recruiting me from Oklahoma. I have developed a very good relationship with him. I talk to him quite a bit. I haven't seen him yet, but I think he is planning on coming out next week."
What at the key factors that Major will base his decision on?
"I am going to look at academics and how good the team is," said Major. "I am going to look for a place that I can live in comfortably for five years."