Now that he’s NCAA Clearinghouse certified and good to go, John Jones is spending his time working with a trainer, trying to gain back the weight he lost playing basketball for Sarasota Booker. He’s gained 12 pounds back but he knows he still needs to put on more weight because he will be needed to be ready to play from the day he arrives at the University of Florida in a little over a month.
“I am 6-2, 200, I want to get to 205,” said Jones. “I think they will put more weight on me when I get up there. I lost a lot for basketball and gained 12 pounds since then. I am eating everything to put it on.”
He’s trying to put on muscle in all the right places so he’s following a training regimen sent to him by the Florida coaching staff. It took a little while to get used to it but now that he’s been at it awhile, he’s confident with the results.
“I have been working out with the program and it is a different variety of stuff than I have been used to,” Jones said. “I have been following the program for about four months now. The toughest part is the conditioning, but I have a trainer that works with me.”
Less than a month away from showing up on campus, Jones is ready to make the big move to Gainesville where he will meet his new teammates and start readying to make the transition from high school football to the Southeastern Conference.
“I am looking forward to having fun and working hard to get on the field with the rest of the team,” he said. “[the coaches] want me to work hard, and they tell me it is hard to know what to expect until I get there. I just want to find out who my roommate is.”
Jones graduated from high school on a wave of academic momentum. He finished strong in the classroom and now he’s all squared with the NCAA which means he’s ready to start school in Gainesville.
“I finished with over a 3.0 … I am cleared with the Clearinghouse,” Jones said.
He says his parents are almost as excited as he is that he will not only be leaving to college, but he will be joining the best college football team in the country.
“They are excited,” he said. “They know I am going to play for the national champs, so that is big for them.”
Florida lost all three starting linebackers from the national championship team so the position is wide open. For John Jones, it’s a chance to step in and play right away. He was one of the best pass rushers in the country his last two years of high school football. He hopes to bring the same kind of intensity and playmaking ability to the Gators this fall.