While yes, the Syracuse Orange football team was beaten soundly by the Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday, there were some quality individual performances during the game. Most notable among those was the impressive work of Orange linebacker Mikel Jones — who did enough to be named the ACC’s linebacker of the week.
ACC Football Players of the Week! ⬇️— ACC Football (@ACCFootball) November 29, 2021
: @PackFootball, QB + WR + DL + Specialist
: @HokiesFB, RB
: @ClemsonFB, OL
: @CuseFootball, LB
: @FSUFootball, DB
: @CanesFootball, Rookie
: https://t.co/8cXP9ovSoQ pic.twitter.com/En2EkN30mo
Jones tallied 16 tackles against Pitt, including two tackles for loss. The 16 stops were the most for a Syracuse player since Zaire Franklin had 16 during the 2017 season. He finished the season with 110 tackles — making him the fifth Syracuse player to collect 110 or more tackles since 2010.
It’s a fitting final honor for Jones, who was a top-notch defensive player for Syracuse all season, and has become one of the conference’s better linebackers over time. While we haven’t yet heard if he’ll declare for the NFL Draft, his return would certainly help mitigate some fears about player departures and this defense. Jones is the heart of the D at this point, and it’s no easy feat to just replace his disruptive play. Thought we certainly wish him the best of luck in the draft if he opts to go that route.