Friday Night Lights: Watching Ohio State Quarterback Commit Emory Jones

Emory Jones ESPN Ohio State Recruiting

The high school football season is in full throat right now, which means a whole bunch of games on ESPN during opening weekend. One of those games was Heard County (Franklin, GA) hosting Saraland (Saraland, AL). Heard County is led by Emory Jones, the 2018 5-star dual-threat quarterback committed to Ohio State.

As you can see in the picture above, Saraland squeaked out a close one as Heard County’s game-tying field goal went wide left. The kick never should have happened, however, because on the play right before, this happened.

That was the final throw of the game for Jones. It was a perfect throw. It beat three defenders to the spot. The missed field goal would come on the next snap, and then Saraland would simply run out the clock.

That throw was a very real indicator of how good Jones is. It was not an anomaly, which is why it is so puzzling that Jones only attempted 11 passes. Yes, he had a few more than that called, but a player of this caliber — who can make throws like the one above — should be throwing 25-35 times a game.

So that was Jones’ final throw. Here is his first throw, and it’s just as eye catching.

Yes, the final pass of the game was more impressive, but this pass was the first time I’ve really ever gotten to see Jones live, so it stuck out. There is an uncommon zip on the football when Jones throws it. There is no wasted trajectory.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Jones’ as a passer is that he is just as accurate on the move, and in either direction. As a right hander, the rollout to the right leads to a natural throw. It’s the rollout to the left, however, where a quarterback loses velocity and fundamentals.

That’s why this throw was the best of the bunch.

Jones is able to get his shoulders square and face up his receiver. There was no loss of velocity, or at least not noticeably. An offensive coordinator can do a lot with a quarterback who can throw on the move like Jones does.

Emory Jones really only threw deep once. It was a flat-footed 45-yard toss to the corner of the end zone that went off the hands of his receiver.

Of Jones’ 11 attempts, six were completed, one or two were thrown away, a couple were dropped, and I think there was only maybe one errant pass on the day.

Here are a few more examples of what he can do with his arm.

Listed as a dual-threat, Jones is actually a pocket passer who can run. And I was surprised by the physicality with which he ran the ball.

At 6-foot-3 and 197 pounds, he’s not exactly skin and bones.

He’s a good runner, but tougher than I expected.

Here he almost seems frustrated and ready to put the team on his back. It appeared to be a read play, but Jones wasn’t sticking around to actually do any reading. Prior to this series, he had almost been an afterthought in the offense for some reason. More passes were called on this drive, and it’s no surprise that he took Heard County right down the field.

Here is a scramble with zero fear.

Jones also got some time at deep safety when one of his teammates kept succumbing to cramps. While he didn’t always stick his nose in there, when he did, stuff like this happened.

Those are the clips I have, and they are 90% of what Jones did on the day. You can see the “arm talent” that he has, and it is immense. He has a talented running back next to him, but that’s no excuse for only throwing the ball 11 times. I’m still baffled by that one.

Watching Jones today, I can see why there are those around the program who believe he is the most talented quarterback that Urban Meyer has ever landed (assuming he ends up signing with Ohio State). I’m no expert, but I’ve seen enough quarterbacks to know that I haven’t seen many who throw it like he does. That’s what caught me off guard the most. The athleticism is a bonus. He can run, but he’s not Braxton Miller by any means.

His arm is his best physical feature, and he has others, but they all have to get in line behind his arm.

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4 Responses

  1. We should be recruiting #5 WR He is very aggressive going after the ball. We currently do not show that skill from our WR’s

  2. Jones would throw the ball more if not for the fact that all of the receivers are playing both ways and they try to avoid wearing them down too much on offense. It’s just one of those problems you face at a smaller school with a short roster…

  3. He really is special, and I think he’s better at this stage than Dwayne Haskins was, Emory has an impressive command with when he throws the ball, and the comment about there being no wasted trajectory is spot on. My favorite pass of his is the across the body throw to the receiver running to the sideline. There are quite a few quarterbacks in college football right now that can’t even accurately make that kind of throw.

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