Fall Player of the Year: Allen Jones
When Allen Jones looks back on his football career at Ursuline High, he can’t help but think he may have been a part of the best team in school history.
A two-time Division V state champion, Jones said he feels the 2009 version of the Fighting Irish have earned their place in the annals of Ursuline football.
“Ursuline has had some great teams come through and not be able to go to the state championship, and then we’ve had some teams that weren’t that good,” he said. “But our team and our generation so far has been really amazing. And I actually think there is more talent coming through every day at Ursuline. I think we’re one of the best teams ever.”
On top of that, Jones will graduate in May as the all-time leading rusher and arguably the best running back in school history. The 4,393 rushing yards and 64 touchdowns in Jones’ career rank him at the top of both lists.
“I didn’t really even know I was that close until somebody told me,” Jones said. “Coach [Dan] Reardon called me into his office and told me at about week five that I was really close. And I really just worked off that determination, and my offensive linemen stepped in and said they wanted to help get me those records.”
With a gaudy resume and three state championship appearances – and titles in 2008 and 2009 – Jones could have chosen virtually any school for his undergraduate studies. But Jones will stay at home and continue his football career at Youngstown State University next fall.
“What stood out to me [about YSU] was the tradition,” he said. “People always talk about how Youngstown State was in the 90s, winning national championships. I don’t think you have to go to a big school like Ohio State to make it to the NFL or show that you can do whatever at the next level.”
Mentioning the NFL was no accident. Jones said he hopes to one day tote the pigskin for a National Football League team.
He said his approach to the game and his dedication to his craft are what put him ahead of other players. And Jones said he doesn’t think his decision to attend YSU will hinder his professional prospects.
“I believe that if you’re really a good player, they’ll come find you,” he said. “If not, it’s their mistake.”