Stephenson High School (Stone Mountain, GA) boasts 11 seniors that will be bound for the FBS level of football. 6’2″, 245-pound senior defensive end Jarontay Jones , one of those top prospects, racked up 97 tackles with 20 tackles for loss and double-digit sacks this season, coming up big for a Jaguars defense that allowed just over 16 points per game.
“I did pretty well,” Jones said when asked for an assessment of his play this season. He totaled close to 90 tackles with 13 sacks as a junior in 2010. “My junior year, I pretty much got all the accolades I could get. I got all-county, all-region and all-state…all that good stuff. Coming into my senior year, I knew I had to step it up another level. I saw a lot of double teams, but I still dominated the high school level.”
Jones was asked to do a variety of things at defensive end. Rushing the passer of course was high on the list, but he also held up offensive linemen so the linebackers could make plays. On occasion, Jones was also asked to drop into pass coverage, a responsibility he took well to.
“They didn’t throw it my way, so I guess I was doing something right,” Jones said with a laugh. “I thought I did a pretty good job of it.”
Stephenson finished with a 9-2 overall record this season. The Jaguars lone regular season loss came to Martin Luther King High School by one point, 50-49. They fell to Lowndes in the first round of playoffs the following week, 7-0. Despite falling short of a state title, Jones is proud of what his team accomplished.
“It was an honor playing with those guys,” Jones said. “We had so much great talent, so it was sad we couldn’t win the state. But you move on. That’s all you can do.”
Falling short of attaining a championship “definitely motivates me more for the next level,” Jones said. “I’ve never won a championship in football in my life. The next level, I want to get one.”
Jones still has one more high school football game left to play, as he has been selected to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Dallas, Texas. The all-star event takes place on December 30. He’ll get to play along side several Stephenson teammates, including running back Mike Davis, who recently de-committed from Florida.
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