By: Brendan C. Hall, USA TODAY High School Sports
Receiving his official Under Armour All-American jersey before a crowd of several hundred in the lunch room at Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) High School on Wednesday afternoon as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour, Trente Jones struggled to find the right words to characterize his emotions.
In short, the big offensive lineman explained, “It was crazy. I wasn’t talking much.”
“It is of the utmost honor, because not too many people get to play in this game,” Jones, the future Michigan Wolverine, continued. “And then, it’s just crazy.”
Jones was one of five Grayson athletes being presented their Under Armour All-American jerseys this afternoon, joining Chosen 25 linebacker and Auburn commit Owen Pappoe; Chosen 25 offensive tackle and Tennessee commit Wanya Morris; Texas-bound cornerback Kenyatta Watson; Alabama-bound defensive end Kevin Harris II.
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Jones has been a force off the edge on both sides of the Rams’ trenches. He committed to Michigan back in February, and doesn’t plan on taking any official visits with any other teams between now and Signing Day.
Carrying a preseason No. 5 ranking nationally in the Super 25, Grayson has been one of the most heavily hyped squads across the nation. Suffice to say it was a surprise when the Rams took a defeat at the hands of then-ranked No. 12 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) last weekend – a move that sent them tumbling 19 spots to No. 24, propelling Bergen Catholic into the top 5.
“I think it was a wake-up call to the whole team,” Jones said. “The O-line did their thing, we showed out, got off the ball. But as a whole, as a team, we didn’t execute.”
But there’s little time to dwell, with Marietta (Ga.) – a preseason No. 16 in the Super 25 that fell all the way out after an upset from Rome (Ga;.) in Week 1 – on tap this week. To that, Jones said the team is “very confident.”
“I believe we had a great week of practice,” he said. “Everybody has been laser focused.”
And after tensions rose during the preseason, culminating with a player-led walkout in protest of practice conditions, Jones says cooler heads have prevailed.
“I believe that the coaching staff has been amazing for us,” Jones said. “They’re getting us better. We are on the right track.”