Wednesday, September 2, 2009


It’s was September 1, 2007…That was the last time Demetrius Jones stepped onto the gridiron to play in an any kind of a meaningful game. That was the day that Notre Dame coach Charlie Weiss tabbed the sophomore Jones to fill the shoes of the all everything QB Brady Quinn to start the 2007 season opener versus Georgia Tech. Following the loss to the Yellow Jackets where he was benched in favor of super freshman Jimmy Clausen and a loss at Happy Valley the following week, Jones was an inexcusable no show on the team bus to Ann Arbor on September 14th. It was clear that following his losing the starting job to Clausen, and the quickly unraveling Fighting Irish season, he was weighing his options.

He was first rumored to be attending Northern Illinois, a short drive from his hometown of Chicago, but in late September the former Parade All American walked into Brian Kelly’s office at the University of Cincinnati and told him that he wanted to be a bearcat. That day turned out to be the first day of the rest of his life. From the moment Jones stepped onto the UC campus he was tabbed as the future QB of the bearcat offense. Sitting out the mandatory one year per NCAA rules, Jones walked into 2008 camp as the expected starting QB. Little did he know what would take place next, the QB carousel that was Cincinnati football 2008, where from three different starters emerged the unlikely hero 6-6 Tony Pike. T

hrough the entire 2008 season, Jones did not play a single down at QB as he watched Pike from the sidelines. Down but surely not out, the 6-3 210 lb Jones thought long and hard about his next move. It was this past Spring that Kelly, fresh off of losing 10 starters on defense, approached Jones about making a switch to the other side of the ball. Demetrius, reluctantly at first agreed to try LB. Slowly but surely, Jones began buying into what Kelly was selling. “There’s no question that he’s got to (buy in),” Kelly said, “and he struggled with it, even during the summer at times. He’d go home and people would tell him, what are you doing? You’re a quarterback. But I think he’s pretty settled into the idea that that’s his position. I knew when he came back from after summer workouts that he was all in.” After committing to Kelly to becoming a full time LB entering training camp in August, Jones surprised many with his rapid ascent up the depth chart culminating with him being named a starter last week for the Rutgers opener. “You always hope for the best and adjust instead of the other way around. We saw signs of it in the spring that if we could just continue to get him to progress he was going to be a great player for us.” says Kelly.


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