Westlake standout get a nice Easter gift

Most teenagers don't get very excited about Easter. DT Derrell Jones (6-3, 290, 5.3) of Westlake High School in Waldorf, Maryland had a good reason for being excited on Easter morning.

"Someone put the offer I got from Pittsburgh on my bed. I was so excited I started running through my house and waking everyone up to tell them the news. They got a little upset with me," said Jones.

Who put the offer there?

"No one will confess."

Pittsburgh was the second to offer Jones, as Syracuse offered before the Panthers. Besides those two, Derrell has been receiving interest from Maryland, Penn State, and Virginia. Pittsburgh is the leader for his services right now, followed by Syracuse, Maryland, Penn State, and North Carolina. He will be attending the Nike Combine at Penn State on May 15th. This summer, he plans on attending football camps at Penn State and Maryland.

During his junior campaign, Jones was named 1st team All-Conference and 1st Team All-Metro. He mad 61 tackles, 3 sacks and batted down 5 passes.

So what separates some of his favorites from the other schools?

"Pittsburgh is getting guys into the NFL. They have NFL style facilities. I like the way they push their academics.

"Maryland, I like the way the coaches stand on their players always making sure they're doing what they are supposed to do. Coach Fridge is always getting things built there for the players."

Jones took an unofficial visit to Pittsburgh and was treated to the Panther regular season basketball game against Villanova. He has attended junior day at Maryland and he attended a game there last fall. He will be attending the spring game at Syracuse this weekend.

What are your goals for the 2004 season?

"I want to start and finish the season strong. I want to be a stand out player who pushes his teammates to get better. I want to leave a legacy at Westlake."

What are you doing now?

"I'm in track right now. I throw the shot-put and discus. My best throw in the shot is 46'."

"My cousin is Donta Jones, who played LB for Nebraska and then for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He lives in North Carolina now, but I am going to get him to give me some advice to make me better."

How would you describe how you play?

"I am aggressive. If you've got the ball, I'm getting it."

What are the main characteristics of a university that you look for?

"I want to play for a team that cares about its players. I want to be around good people. I want to be pushed. What's there for me if I get hurt? Will they make me succeed?"

Do you have any kind of timeline as far as your decision goes?

"Probably during the season, I'm going to weigh everything out and make sure I make the right decision."

Derrell Jones has yet to have taken his college boards. He is a 3.0 student. He bench presses 330 lbs. and squats 490 lbs.

Panther More Top Stories