Jamarco Jones was sleeping when the news came out. Somehow, that seems appropriate. All year, Jones has played left tackle at a high level but with little fanfare. So it makes sense that he would be snoozing when the Big Ten announced that both coaches and media had voted him second-team all-conference.
Jamarco Jones was sleeping when the news came out. Somehow, that seems appropriate.
All year, Jones has played left tackle at a high level but with little fanfare. So it makes sense that he would be snoozing when the Big Ten announced that both coaches and media had voted him second-team all-conference.
"I woke up to a bunch of calls," Jones said. "I didn't know what was happening. I was a little worried. My mom had called me like 10 times. But it was pretty exciting to get recognized like that."
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The junior from Chicago is one of three first-year starters on the Ohio State offensive line. That unit will be under the microscope when it faces Clemson's stout and athletic defensive line in a College Football Playoff semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31.
Ohio State's line has been inconsistent, but Jones hasn't been. As the player responsible for protecting quarterback J.T. Barrett's blind side, Jones has been remarkably steady.
"If you know what you're going to get out of your guys and they're consistent, that helps you formulate game plans and call plays and move the football," offensive coordinator Ed Warinner said. "He has been very consistent, and we trust him."
According to cfbfilmroom.com, Jones has been successful in pass protection 97.4 percent of the time. That's a full percentage point better than his predecessor, Taylor Decker, a three-year starter and first-round NFL pick.
"He has played very well, as expected," center Pat Elflein said. "I was expecting him to be an All-Big Ten performer and a leader on the offensive line. He also is pushing guys behind him, which is part of his job as a starter."
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Jones was the Buckeyes' top backup last season. Truth is, he and his teammates believed he was ready to start in 2015. But he had to wait his turn.
"As a competitor, you always want to play," Jones said. "But I took the time to learn more from Taylor and Chase (Farris, the right tackle) and the rest of those guys. It was a great learning experience playing behind those guys."
It also helped that he faced some rather decent players in practice. If you can hold your own against the likes of Noah Spence, Joey Bosa and Tyquan Lewis, that tends to breed confidence.
Jones isn't a flashy player and he doesn't go out of his way to seek attention. The All-Big Ten recognition is one of the few times he was in the spotlight, even if he was asleep when the moment came.
"The only time linemen usually get noticed is if you're getting beat," he said. "I don't mind too much. It's just an honor to be considered one of the best linemen in the Big Ten."
Jones' maturity hasn't come by accident.
"It's just how I was raised," he said. "My mom (Urica) instilled that in me, not letting me really be immature and making me grow up pretty quickly. Especially coming from Chicago, you've got to grow up."
And if that means doing your job quietly, that's fine by him.
"It's not about me," Jones said. "It never will be. I just try to do my part and help us win."