Next up on the list is an Orange player that probably doesn't need much introduction. If you don't already know how good this guy is...just wait.
Cause...um...you'll see that he's good.
Player: Arthur Jones
Position: Nose Tackle
Weight: 291 lbs
Hometown: Endicott, NY
High School: Union Endicott
2005 Stats: Redshirt, DNP
2006 Stats: Art played in every game his first season and ended the year with 15 tackles and a fumble recovery.
2007 Stats: A starter in every game he played (11), Jones was a powerful run-stopper for the Orange. He finished with 17.5 tackels-for-loss and 1.59 tackles for loss per game, good for ninth-best nationally. Had then-career bests with 6 solo tackles against Rutgers and 9 total tackles against Iowa. Named to the All-Big East 2nd team.
2008 Stats:Jones came into his own last season, in which he was named to the pre-season Nagurski & Outland Trophy watch lists. Starting every game for the Orange, he recorded 60 tackles overall and his 1.08 tackles for loss per game was sixth best in the Big East. In the win over Notre Dame, Jones cemented his place in the spotlight with a fifteen-tackle, 4 TFL and 1.5 sack performance that earned him a Big East Defensive Player of the Week honor. Named to the All-Big East 1st Team, it was a foregone conclusion that he would leave early for the NFL. Jones shocked most everyone by deciding to return for one more year and a chance to rewrite the SU record books.
2009 Projections: Currently rehabbing from a pectoral injury suffered during off-season weight training, Jones is on target to return where he left off, as the starting nose tackle and leader of this defense.
How'd He Get Here: Like his brother, Jones played at Union Endicott High School where he recorded 64 tackles, including six sacks, and one fumble recovery as a senior. He was considered the no. 18 prospect in New York by SuperPrep. Jones also recieved offers from UConn, Pitt, Rutgers and Wisconsin but chose the Orange.
What did Scout/Rivals Say?: Showing just how little stock you can put in these rankings some times, Jones was a three-star recruit according to Scout and considered the 65th best DT available. Rivals thought even less of Arthur, rating him a two-star recruit. Oops.
Money Quote: "I want to finish what I started and leave Syracuse a winner...It is about this program and getting it turned around. We have a great team coming back. I really believe we can get this going in the right direction." - discussing why he returned for his senior season.
Links Of Wonder: Lobsterfest, of course. The 2009 Big East Media Day approaches soon and this time Art won't have Ryan Durand there to pick up the slack.
What Does Marrone Think?: He's excited. Upon hearing Jones would return for his senior year, "I was like, Hey! Merry Christmas ... to me, to myself." And when asked about Jones' recovery from the pec tear, "I look forward to seeing Art back on the field."
Interesting Nugget O'Interest: Art might have been an even better wrestler than he is football player. His senior year he went undefeated and won the state title in the 275 lb weight class. He was ranked #2 in the nation.
Please Make Sure You Sit Down With An Accountant First: When asked what he sees himself doing in five years: "Hopefully in the NFL, but after I'd like to go in to some sort of business or investing venture. Possibly invest in a couple restaurants and see how that goes." "Possibly invest in restaurants" and "see how that goes"!?!?!? 60% of restaurants fail in the their first year, Arthur! This is no time for nonchalant judgments.