Thursday, November 3, 2011

Is D'Mauri Jones The Greatest Athlete Ever At Leesburg High School, November 3, 2011

2012 University of Miami (FL) Commit WR D'Mauri Jones
By Gerald Lacey
Staff Writer
Carver Heights Quarterback Club
November 3, 2011

LEESBURG - Senior wide receiver D'Mauri Jones (6-5, 190) will be making his last regular season game appearance as a Yellow Jacket Friday night. The 2012 University of Miami (FL) commit is hoping to be able to participate in a District Tiebreaker on Monday. If Groveland South Lake High School defeats Clermont East Ridge Friday night he will get that chance.

Jones is arguably the best wide receiver and athlete to play at Leesburg since Greg Williams in 1969. Williams is Leesburg all time career leader in virtually all receiving categories. Williams was a All-State Selection in Basketball and Football his senior year. Williams led the Jackets to the Class A Football State Championship Game in 1969. In 1969 Williams had 74 receptions, 1341 receiving yards and 19 touchdown receptions. He set a state playoff record with 12 catches for 229 yards in a game.

D'Mauri Jones Leesburg High School Athletic resume:

2011 Class 4A Boys Basketball State Championship
2011 Class 4A Boys Basketball State Final Four All-Tournament Team 
2011 Class 4A All-State Basketball Team

Orlando Sentinel All-Central Florida Basketball Second Team
2010 Class 3A All-State Honorable Mention Football Team 

No.15 in Orlando Sentinel Central Florida 2012 Super 60

 He holds all of Leesburg High School career receiving records. In 1969 he made the Class A All-State Basketball and Football teams. Williams led Leesburg to the 1969 Class A State Championship Game. Williams went to play college football at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Jones has 36 catches for 470 yards after playing in only 6 out of 9 games so far in 2011. He is averaging 13.1 yards per catch with 9 Touchdowns. 

Jones says his plan is play another basketball season and help his school defend their state title but he will focus on football exclusively in college unless an opportunity arose where he could play both sports.

With so few big (6’2+) receivers this year in Florida, Jones became a hot commodity. He brings both the size and athletic ability that so many schools covet. He is a big time BCS prospect,  Miami has given a scholarship offer and many other top programs as well will try to and jump in.

Jones, who caught 40 passes for 544 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, has received offers from Miami (FL), Arkansas, Duke, Florida, Louisville, Marshall, Middle Tennesee State, Rutgers, South Carolina, USF, UCF, Wake Forest and West Virginia. 

Jones went to Florida and Florida State for junior day events during the offseason

"Both FSU and Florida have real nice facilities," Jones said. "I like both programs and I love the people at both programs -- they treat you real well. I've been to games at both schools last year and I loved the atmosphere."

"Education is the number one thing with me," Jones said. "It's a traditional thing in my family. I've grown up taking school really seriously. That won't change."
He also gives you a receiver with good hands. He is the type of receiver that can run through traffic and catch the football.

"He's got great ball skills," Trivers said. "He has a natural ability to go up and get the ball when it's in the air, which is easier said than done. The guy has good size, runs very well, is highly competitive. He has a very strong work ethic, is a good leader, has a lot of great qualities that will make him a very, very good football player at the next level. He's just scratching the surface, hasn't played a lot of receiver in terms of catching balls in game situations until last year because it was an option offense prior to last year. I think he'll do great things and continue to enhance his game as a wideout, will continue to improve once he gets to Miami. He has just so much more to grow as good as he is right now as a high school play. He has room to grow physically and from an experience standout."

Jones is your typical 6-foot-5 deep threat receiver. He has knack for getting over the top of defenders. If a jump ball is thrown his way, chances are he comes down with it. He has good hands and tucks the ball quickly after the catch. Using his long strides and ability to change of direction, he makes a lot of plays downfield, especially in the end zone. He has good vertical ability as well, making him a threat for the jump ball and fade routes. He needs to add some weight to fill out his long frame. While at the prep level this is not an issue, corners become more physical in college and the weight will help with that.

Head Coach Randy Trivers, who was an assistant at Rutgers and Syracuse of the Big East, has a drill where he puts three men on the big Jones and sees who comes up with the ball. He also sees similar stop-gaps in games.

"Before games and afterward, during practice, I work on my own little stuff to get those kinds of balls," Jones said.

Jones hauled in 10 passes for 162 yards and 4 touchdowns in his biggest game of the season for him

He and his brother Robert Jones should have been given the backboards at George Jenkins Arena at The Lakeland Center because they owned them at the Final Four. 

Jones also built on his impressive semifinal performance with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the championship game. He finished with a team-high 35 points in the final four for Leesburg, a town about an hour northwest of Orlando. The senior shot 58% from the field last season and is one of the four returning starters next year for Marcel Thomas. The Jackets are favored to repeat as state champions in 2011-2012. There has never have been a repeat state champion in the history of Leesburg High School Sports. Jacket fans will get a chance to see something special this season. 

Jones is a poor man’s version of Duke's Austin Rivers in terms of what he contributes on both ends of the court. Jones was able to use favorable match-ups in their half court sets against Blake and Cardinal Gibbons in their march to a 4A Title. Works well within the framework of what Head Coach Marcel Thomas asks of his Yellow Jacket team. Averaged 18 points in 2 games well above his average of 10 points during the Regular Season.
Great athletes only come around every so often. Williams was one of them in 1969 but he is missing a championship ring. Great players are judged on by championships and if they made players around them better. D'Mauri Jones has done that. 

Ed Chatman has a ring but only dominated one sport. Wayne Hamilton dominated in two sports but has no state championship rings. 

Greg Williams was unstoppable in two sports and has a state championship game appearance but no ring. 

Oran Singleton is one of the top five players to ever play at Leesburg but dominated in only one sport and has no rings. 

Greg Johnson arguably the greatest football player ever at Leesburg has a state championship game appearance but no ring. Jones has dominated in two sports and has a State Championship Ring to show for it. 

I was too young to see Greg Williams play but I saw Oran Singleton perform on a high level every Friday night. Jones has the same type of playmaking skills when the ball gets in his hand. Singleton touched the ball 15 to 25 times a game, Jones only 5 to 10 times a game but he makes the most out of every opportunity. 

Jones has helped elevate Leesburg Basketball and Football to State Championship levels. He is a hard worker that doesn't just rely on his athletic talent. He is a student of the game in both sports. He has flown under the radar at Leesburg High School as well as the University of Kentucky All-American linebacker Danny Trevathan did in his prep playing days in Leesburg. Trevathan will be playing on Sunday's soon look for Jones to do the same.

D'Mauri Jones has a number of tricks in his bag: One is a move he pulls to unlock triple-team coverage, the other is how he keeps himself consumed with getting better.

"I know there are coaches here but if I find myself looking at them, I lose my focus. That's the biggest thing I'm learning now, how to focus in practice and in school too," said Jones.

University of Miami Hurricanes Locker Room Dolphin Stadium Miami, FL. D'Mauri Jones will dress hear for home games in 2012 for the Miami Hurricanes.
What Jones does is fool himself into think he is the worst player on the Leesburg team, even though he probably is the best.

"I practice like I'm the worst, when game comes I'm the best," Jones says.

And, as for the cornerbacks.

"I will say that I'm tall and unpredictable. You never know what you're going to get. If you throw me the pass I can find a way to get it. If I'm triple-covered, I can find a way to get away with the ball," he said. 

Friday night will be special for Jacket fans as they will get their last chance to see arguably the greatest athlete to ever wear the Orange and Black of Leesburg High School. If the late Jack Wilson Leesburg's longtime radio play by play announcer was still calling games he would sound something like this "Mitchell (Jack Mitchell former color analyst for Jacket football game radio broadcast) that Jones kid can really scoot with the football can he Mitchell."

Article written by:
Gerald Lacey
Staff Writer
Carver Heights Quarterback Club
1986 Varsity Jackets Football Lettermen #82
Class of 1988 Leesburg High School

Gerald is a professional Internet marketer and social media marketing expert. His online business ventures and websites generate multiple streams of income annually. His consulting clients include best selling authors and international speakers.

Gerald is the CEO/President of Lacey LLC and OmariWholesale, Inc. He runs his entire business from his home where he is able to spend quality time with his family and friends. He is passionate about helping individuals to build and monetize their personal brand online.

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