Adding his name to more Michigan State lore, Greg Jones continues a streak of Spartans having been drafted since the inception of the common NFL Draft back in 1967.
While some may be surprised it took so long for Jones to hear his name called, the former two-time consensus All-American finally got the call.
“It has been a stressful three days, but I feel both relieved and excited. All of my hard work has paid off, and now, I’m excited to have the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL. A lot of teams passed on me, but I’m hungrier than ever to prove myself. I wasn’t highly recruited coming out of high school, but yet I became a four-year starter and an All-American.”
While others passed, Jones found the Giants management team excited about his future in New York.
“I could really hear the excitement in the voices of (General Manager) Jerry Reese and (head coach) Tom Coughlin. They really liked me and they feel like I can have an impact right away, both on defense and on special teams.”
Many thought Jones may have given up his senior season a year ago and enter the draft, but instead, he returned and helped the Spartans win a Big Ten Championship completing a stellar career.
“I’ll never regret my decision that I made to return to Michigan State for my senior year. I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the program over the last four years, and ultimately those things resulted in a Big Ten Championship last year. I’m so thankful to all of the people at Michigan State, who have supported me during this journey to the NFL. I wouldn’t trade my last four years for anything.”
Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio stressed how well he feels his former linebacker will do at the next level and why the Cincinnati, Ohio native will always be remembered fondly.
“The pro scouts often become enamored with a prospect’s measurable, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Greg Jones will have a long, productive career in the National Football League. He’ll play immediately on special teams. Greg is a very instinctive player, who finds a way to get to the football. He reacts well to sudden changes in direction, and he’s added weight to strengthen his durability.
“Greg closed out his collegiate career as one of the most accomplished defensive players in Spartan history and that speaks volumes. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him because he believed in this football program and returned for his senior year to win a Big Ten Championship, and he delivered on that promise.”
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin knows he is getting a solid and productive player in Jones.
“Greg Jones, the highly productive linebacker from Michigan State, was our first pick in the sixth round. He is a three-time All-Big Ten middle backer, who has tremendous production, lots of tackles and any number of sacks over the course of his career as well.”
Giants General Manager Jerry Reese placed stock in the level of play Jones had while a Spartan in making the decision to draft him.
“Greg Jones has been incredibly productive over his time at Michigan State. One of the things that the late Tom Boisture taught me is when you scout guys, you respect production. This guy has tons of production. This guy has sacks. He has tons and tons of tackles. He’s played at a high level, and he’s a very instinctive player. Jones is another guy who’s going to come in with a chip on his shoulder because I’m pretty sure he feels like he should’ve been picked a lot higher than where he got picked. He’ll come in here with something to prove.”
For Greg Jones his time in East Lansing is completed and his future is bright once the NFL and get around their labor issues. One thing all Spartan fans know is when Greg Jones takes the field for the Giants; he will be a player who will give his heart, body and soul to be a winner.