Chris Jones grew up in De Queen, Arkansas and attended De Queen High School.
In high school, Jones was a three year starter on the football team and during the 2012 season he completed 603 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns and 63 receiving yards. Jones was the only all-state fullback in the state of Arkansas in 2012. Jones was also a member of the varsity track team for three years where he won all-state honors for discus.
Jones continued his football career as a member of the Arkansas Razorbacks. During his time at Arkansas, Jones played in four games during the 2014 season and started as a member of special teams against Ole Miss. In 2015, Jones saw increased playing time as he appeared in six games, although starting special teams in five games, Jones started at fullback during the 4OT win over Auburn. As a graduate transfer in 2017, Jones saw himself another opportunity to continue playing football at the University of Chattanooga. In 2017, Jones played in 11 games with one start and recorded two kickoff returns one for 18 yards and the other for 11 yards.
I asked Jones what the experience was like at Arkansas and the University of Chattanooga and what the hardest transition was and he said, “I started my career off as a walk on from a small town called De Queen Arkansas. After my senior year, I moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas to be closer to Fayetteville which was about a 45 minute drive. I wasn’t accepted into school yet and there wasn’t any guarantees that I would make the team so I would work 10 hour shifts at a chicken plant called OK foods and then after work go to the gym near where I had lived. Work out, go home. Rest and repeat the next day. I messaged Patrick Arinze on Twitter because I had seen he was walking on and had a great spring, so I would drive up on the weekends, train with him and some of the other cats and we’ve been best friends ever since. Once I was accepted into school July 29th, 2013 I had called Coach Lunney to give him the news. He told me to report the first week of August. They had limited spots so I wasn’t invited to camp but had got my call a week later to come in and practice. No one knew who I was, I flew under the radar until I got to put the pads on. After my first two weeks, they promoted me from the practice squad to getting first team reps. Then Coach B had asked if I wasn’t to burn my redshirt and of course I said yes. The following week we go to Little Rock to play Samford and being from a small town, I never played in front of more than 3,000 people and now playing in front of the world I was pretty nervous. “
There is a lot more that Jones said but from that right there you got a huge understanding on how dedicated Jones was to make the roster. No matter what obstacles were standing in his path, Jones tried each and every day and his hard work paid off and earned him a spot on the roster.
Now that Jones has graduated from college and his time playing at the University of Chattanooga has come to an end, Jones will be looking for an opportunity professionally either in the NFL or CFL.
I asked Jones about his training process as he looks to make an NFL/CFL roster and he said, “I am currently living in Chattanooga, Tennessee training with Chad Pearson who got me ready for my pro day this year. I took about one month off after the draft and pro day to regroup my body, mind and spirit. I have an opportunity to do a workout for an NFL team in a couple months. No guarantees but a window is open. I’ve been training extremely hard ever since I decided to do the workout, but I also know the NFL or CFL is all about timing, and I want to go into an organization and give them 110% so once I am ready, I will be back on the field either this season or next.”
I also got an opportunity to learn about why Jones continues to play football. He said, “I play it because it gives me a release. I’ve always been different. I’ve always wanted to prove people wrong who have doubted my ability. One time I got told and this is not a joke a man from my home town said, “Arkansas won’t ever have a winning record because they keep recruiting guys like you. No offense but 0 stars and 2 stars just cant compete with 5 star talent like LSU and Auburn.” So it was funny because two years after that conversation, I was able to start and be and beat both those teams. I also do it for the kids back home. Giving them hope and showing them that you can be whatever you want to be no matter who tries to stand in your way. My mom is absolutely one of my biggest supporters and she’s working in a chicken plant for 23 years so one day I plan on being able to have her retire so I can take care of her like she took care of me. My support system is awesome and my girlfriend is my ride or die. She’s sacrificed a lot so it motivates me to keep chasing this dream for our future.”
Jones has an incredible heart as he loves giving back not only to his family but to his community as well. Watch out because with this young mans drive and dedication he will succeed in either the CFL or NFL.
Finishing off the interview, I asked Jones what he enjoyed doing during his down time and he said, “ when I am away from football and training, I enjoy bringing people together. I host an event called SWARK community bash and it’s a way for me and my friends to give back to our community. Last year we raised money for state championship signs and this year all proceeds go toward buying the kids new helmets and shoulder pads. I’m a country boy so anytime I have time to ride a horse or do farm work then I’ll do that. I love to hike and I am a sorry fisherman but I’ll still try time after time. I love kids and I had the opportunity to work at this place called friendship community care in Fayetteville one semester and had the opportunity to help kids with developmental disabilities get jobs in the community and nothing taught me more patience and how to really listen than that experience but I’d do it all over again if I could. Overall, I want to be able to show kids that there is life after sports, and you do not have to be stuck doing one thing the rest of your life and I love to show them how to be versatile in whatever they decide to do.”
Jones is an incredibly gifted young man. Not only does he have the talent to succeed on the field but the way he gives back to the community year after year allows him also to succeed off the field. Being a big brutal back allows for Jones to not only rush the ball on short yard situations but gives Jones the opportunity to block against linebackers and edge rushers. Expect this young man to see opportunities within the near future either in the NFL or CFL.