Meet Jason Jones

New Rebel Cornerbacks Coach Jason Jones stood composed before a media gathering Thursday afternoon and fielded every question like the professional he is.

Jones, who arrived in Oxford yesterday and went through all his human resources requirements with the university this morning, thanked Coach Hugh Freeze for the opportunity to ply his trade at Ole Miss.

"I appreciate the opportunity Coach Freeze and Ross Bjork and the rest of the football staff have given me," said Jones. "I'm excited and thrilled to be here and be a part of something special."

As all are aware, Jason left a very stable situation at Oklahoma State to come to a second-year program. He had his reasons.

"The thing that really excites me is that Ole Miss is in the SEC. It is also closer to home and my family and family is important to me," he noted. "The other thing, being on the outside looking in, there's a lot of excitement going on at Ole Miss. This is an unbelievable place and everything is going in the right direction.

"The recruiting class they just signed told me a lot and to be on board with a great staff and a great young head coach tells me I will be a part of something special, something going places."

Jones says his relationship with his players is number one on his list to being a good coach.

"The most important thing to me is developing a relationship with our young men and letting them know you care about them as a person first and a football player second," he noted. "Once they realize that and develop a bond, they will play hard for you.

"We will put them in a position to make plays if they will play hard and that is what this staff is all about, as you can see from the results last year."

He is also a firm believer in developing depth and keeping things as simple as possible.

"It seems like most people are not going to up-tempo, spread offenses. Consequently, you have to have depth to keep from getting worn down., Your number twos better be as good as your number ones," Jones explained. "Also, you have to keep things as simple as possible so your guys line up properly and are able to play fast. Playing fast is critical."

Jason was pursued by Freeze for a multitude of reasons, but his recruiting prowess was certainly at the top of the list. He explained his recruiting philosophy.

"Recruiting is the most important thing we do. It's easier to call plays if you have great players," he noted. "First, you evaluate the talent and find the players who fit the scheme and fit with the personality of the team. Then, you find the people who are important to him and build relationships with those people.

"Once you identify a target, it's critical to get to know everything about them and go from there. You have to work at it every single day. One of the reasons I wanted back in the SEC is that the battles in recruiting are just as hard as the battles on game day. It's always a challenge. I have run across members of this staff on the road recruiting and they are passionate about it, just as I am."

Jones also said it's important to be professional.

"The way you carry yourself and the way you represent your university matters," he closed. "Treat everyone with the respect you would want and good things happen. You gain trust by being straight and being respectful of all involved."

Wesley McGriff leaving the staff could have been a big blow to Freeze's program, but if first impressions mean anything, Jones will fill his shoes admirably.

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