Joneses: Signing with Razorbacks 'special'

By: Matt Jones
Published: Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Highland Park quarterback John Stephen Jones, left, Jerry Jones, right and Stephen Jones, middle, celebrate a UIL Class 5A Division I state championship football game against Temple, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. Highland Park won 16-7. John Stephen Jones is the grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and son to Stephen Jones. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
Highland Park quarterback John Stephen Jones, left, Jerry Jones, right and Stephen Jones, middle, celebrate a UIL Class 5A Division I state championship football game against Temple, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. Highland Park won 16-7. John Stephen Jones is the grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and son to Stephen Jones. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)

— John Stephen Jones realized a boyhood dream Wednesday when he became a third-generation Arkansas football signee.

Jones, a quarterback from Highland Park near Dallas, signed during an event at his high school that was attended by his grandfather, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and his father, Cowboys executive vice president, Stephen Jones.

Jerry Jones lettered at Arkansas from 1962-64 and Stephen Jones lettered from 1984-87.

"It's a special day," John Stephen Jones told the Dallas Morning News. "I've been an Arkansas fan all my life and just to be able to go play for them, it's really special."

John Stephen Jones committed to Arkansas following a recruiting visit to Fayetteville last weekend. He also had scholarship offers from Texas Tech, SMU and Kansas.

"It was emotional when he told me that was probably what he was going to do Saturday night, and it was emotional when he said I'm ready to do it - I'm ready to tell Coach (Chad) Morris I want to be a Razorback," Stephen Jones told the Dallas Morning News. "Then, of course, it was emotional again when he told Coach Morris, Coach (Joe) Craddock and the Arkansas staff that he wanted to be a Razorback. We had three nice events there over the weekend that made it very special."

A family tradition wasn't the only selling point for Jones. He played high school football with Chandler Morris, son of Arkansas head coach Chad Morris.

As a two-year starter at Highland Park, Jones passed for 7,965 yards and 90 touchdowns, with only 12 interceptions in 777 pass attempts.

He led the Scots to consecutive state championship wins, including in December when he broke Texas state championship game records with 37 completions for 564 yards, and he accounted for five touchdowns in a 53-49 win over Manvel. Jones was sacked eight times in the game.

With Highland Park trailing by 10 points, Jones led two touchdown drives in the final three minutes, including the go-ahead nine-play drive that took 91 seconds and included a fourth-and-15 conversion.

His 16-yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds remaining gave the Scots the lead in front of 24,975 fans at AT&T Stadium, including Morris.

"One of the things that really intrigued me about John Stephen is that the guy is a winner," Morris said. "When you play in that league and that level, and you put the numbers up that (he) put up and you've been able to not just compete, but win back-to-back state championships, I mean that says enough. That's what we want to surround ourselves with and surround our program with, is with winners - winners both on the field and off the field."

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