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One-on-One with the Pirates
, August 23, 2010

By Ron Cherubini

Q&A with Justin Jones

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

It didn’t take long, one game specifically, for Justin Jones to etch himself in East Carolina football lore. A leaping catch on the final play of the opening game of the 2010 season secured a win over Tulsa and announced that the 6-8 wide receiver would be a future star for the Pirates.

The future is now for Jones as the sophomore begins the 2011 campaign stepping into a starting role in the offense at inside receiver. The big target adds another nice weapon in Dominique Davis’s arsenal and should be a lot of fun to watch as linebackers and safeties try to figure out how to stop him.

Justin was kind enough to sit down for a chat with Bonesville to share his insights on the upcoming season.

Justin Jones (84) in a candid moment last season (ECU SID photo)

One-on-One with Justin Jones

Q: You obviously announced your presence as a Pirate a year ago with the catch to win the Tulsa game. Can you describe the impact of that moment on you? Any long term impact?

A: Yeah… you know, we are all trying not to look back… live in the past. We are really focused on what we’ve got ahead of us, South Carolina being our first game. We are focused on making progress every day. That question comes up in interviews a lot — it was great and is fun to talk about but we really are focused on the things we have to do now and for this season. We have the toughest out-of-conference schedule in our league and have a lot to get prepared for. I am looking forward right now.

Q: Obviously, your opportunities were limited in 2010 as all-everything WR Dwayne Harris completed his career at ECU. Did you learn anything from working behind Harris?

A: Myself and all the guys who are returning this year, we were extremely lucky to have a guy like Dwayne on our side. He is a very explosive player and a great player to watch and learn from. His route running, his cuts, his coachability, his attitude, there is a lot to learn from him. We spend an enormous amount of time watching film, especially of ourselves, so we are constantly learning and Dwayne gave us a lot to watch. But we are in camp here working on everything and lot of those things are things that Dwayne was very good at. We’ve got a great group of receivers out here and we all bring different (skills) to this offense and we learn from each other, too.

Q: Coach Donnie Kirkpatrick mentioned that there may be some packages and plays specifically designed to take advantage of mismatches you create with linebackers and safeties. Have you seen any of that yet? Should fans expect a break out year this year?

A: Definitely… when they brought the Air Raid offense in from Texas Tech, there weren’t any real plays for a traditional tight end or fullback position. Here, you know, I came in and Zico Pasut came in as traditional — I guess some people would say highly-touted — tight end recruits with several offers from other schools. So, yes, they are working some things in. I still play standing up, but if a situation calls for it, you may see me move down into a traditional tight end look. Being an old guy now, I am excited about it.

Q: What player on this team do you most respect and why?

A: Coach Ruff, he teaches us and harps on us to respect all of our teammates, period. You know, I respect all my teammates and we are a team out here working together. Ummm… you know, I gotta say I really respect Dominique (Davis). He came in from a junior college and he had to prove himself and he did it very quickly coming into camp without a spring and with a little time to get it all down. Coming from Boston College, he was supposed to be good, but when he came in and sort of took over the job, he showed he was a great leader. He is the leader on our offense and really on our team. You have to respect a guy like that. He works extremely hard and demands everyone to work hard. If you mess up, you know, he is the first guy to offer encouragement and tell you to move on to the next play.

Q: Heading into 2011, what part of your game are you most focused on improving?

A: I think one thing I focused on the (most) this summer working with Coach (Jeff) Connors and the strength staff was strength going into and coming out of my cuts and my route running in general. I worked on my conditioning, being able to go longer and that is what I worked on most this off-season.

E-mail Ron Cherubini

Ron Cherubini Archives

08/23/2011 02:37 AM


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