by Donal Ware
Javancy Jones put up some prolific numbers as a four-year starter at Jackson State. Yet he never really received the due he deserved.
“I look at the stats of the top 10 picks and my numbers triple theirs,” said Jones a two-time BOXTOROW All-American. “I’ve been consistent year in and year out and I’ve only missed one game my whole career.”
The numbers speak for themselves. Three hundred thirty-five tackles, 76 tackles for loss and 21 sacks. All of this while playing at three different positions – outside linebacker, middle linebacker and defensive end – under four different coaches.
Even at the FCS level, and under those circumstances, those are very good numbers. But there was no NFL Scouting Combine invite. Yet, he was invited to the East-West Shrine Game where he made the most if his opportunity, showing the scouts why he had those numbers and having the opportunity to play against elite and bigger school players. He impressed at his pro day, measuring in at 6’1, 239, running a 4.54/40 and bench pressing 225 pounds 26 times.
“At first it did, I would be lying if it didn’t,” said Jones when asked about not being invited to the NFL Combine. “But after a day or so I prayed about it and once you pray about it you shouldn’t worry about it anymore. I got my head together and went right back to the weight room.”
Despite being double teamed this past year, Jones recorded 82 tackles (41 solo), 19.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and two forced fumbles. In the shrine game he recorded four tackles, including one for loss.
While the numbers are gaudy and it looks like it may have been easy, it has not been an easy road for Jones a native a Macon, Miss. Coming out of high school, Jones had scholarship offers from many FBS programs including Duke and Vanderbilt. During his senior season, his mother was diagnosed with a rare disease called neuromyelitis optica and was given just three months to live. At the time his brother was attending Jackson State and his mother wanted them to stay close as a family.
“I visited Jackson State and fell in love with it,” said Jones. “I don’t regret it at all.”
Despite the disease, Jones’ mother was still able to get around with a walker, but had become legally blind. This past season she became paralyzed from the neck down. However, she was on hand at the JSU homecoming game on October 26 against Prairie View A&M. Jones recorded 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in that game.
Jackson State has a rich history of players that have been drafted and played in the NFL. A couple of the most notable players are Hall of Famers Lem Barney, Walter Payton and Jackie Slater. Robert Brazile, who should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and his former coach Harold Jackson also played at JSU. Jones recognizes those on whose shoulders he stands as a potential NFL player.
“Being in the presence of a Robert Brazile is a blessing in itself,” said Jones. “I’m still a fan of his and I try to pick his brain about everything I can.”
Jones has already visited a number of teams including the Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets to name a few. He says each team has an idea of there they want him to play; inside, outside or on the edge.
Draft boards have him being drafted on the last day of the Draft. Jones is guaranteed to hear his name called this weekend, hopefully at the draft, but will attend his graduation on Saturday, where he will receive his degree in Early Childhood Education, graduating with a 3.56 grade point average.
“It means a lot [to graduate], said Jones who will receive his degree in four years. “When I call myself a student-athlete I actually mean student-athlete. The student always came first in my life. Football can be taking away at anytime, you can’t take that knowledge from me.”
Hopefully by Saturday, we can add NFL player.
Note: Some of the preeminent former HBCU football players have appeared on BOXTOROW over the years, weeks prior to the NFL Draft. Beginning in 2006, BOXTOROW interviewed current Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea of Howard and former Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tavaris Jackson of Alabama State two weeks before the draft. BOXTOROW has interviewed players every year since. Jones will appear on BOXTOROW this weekend on one of these radio stations across the country or Saturday 9 a. m. ET/8 a.m. CT/6 a.m. PT on SiriusXM Channel 142.