Versatile Jones working to prove himself after injury
by Mark Edwards
Mar 17, 2013 | 3564 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Barrett Jones played three positions on Alabama’s offensive line and made All-American at all three. (Photo by Bill Wilson)
Barrett Jones played three positions on Alabama’s offensive line and made All-American at all three. (Photo by Bill Wilson)
TUSCALOOSA — Barrett Jones played three positions on Alabama’s offensive line and made All-American at all three. So where would he play in the NFL?

Jones said he doesn’t know, as teams haven’t given him a clear indication.

He started at guard for two seasons before shifting to tackle as a junior. Then, as a senior this past year, he played center.

“I’ll play whatever position I’m asked to play,” he said this past week at Alabama’s pro day. “If you made me choose I’d probably choose center right now because, No. 1, I played there last year and, No. 2, I’m kind of a control freak. I like to be in control. If we’re watching TV together I like to hold the remote. That’s the kind of guy I am. I like making the calls.”

Jones hasn’t had the chance to work out much for NFL teams because of the foot injury he suffered late last season. He tore ligaments in his foot against Georgia in December and didn’t undergo surgery until mid-January.

He still is wearing a walking boot to protect his foot. At the NFL Scouting Combine in January, he went through interviews with teams. On Wednesday, at Alabama’s pro day, he bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times, but couldn’t do anything that involved running.

He said he is hoping to do drills before the draft, which will be April 25-27.

“Hoping is different than actually doing them,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to be able to. I won’t be cleared until May, so unfortunately, probably not.”

Jones is counting on NFL teams relying on his four years of games at Alabama. Other than that, the four-time Academic All-American is trying to come off in interviews as a player who is motivated and ready to play professionally.

“I have 50 games of tape out there, so hopefully they watch those,” he said. “I try to present myself in a good way so a team will pick me. I try to convey what I can bring to a team, which is kind of hard because you really have to talk about yourself a lot and I’d rather talk to you guys about other people.

“They ask you what are your strengths and weaknesses, so it’s tough but you have to practice it and get ready and tell them what kind of person you are.”

Jones said he doesn’t know where he will go in the draft. Various mock drafts since the end of the season have projected him as a possible pick in the second or third round.

“Honestly I’m not too worried about rounds,” he said. “More than anything, I want to get to a team that appreciates me and that I’m a good fit for and get to the place I’m supposed to be. You know, it only takes one team to really fall in love with you and draft you.”

Jones has gone through rehabilitation at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., as one of several players working out in hopes of getting drafted. Alabama teammate Robert Lester has worked out there, too.

Last month, about 20 of the players recorded a “Harlem Shake” video, which has caught fire online with more than 600,000 views on Jones is in the video, and while he is wearing a Santa Clause costume for much of it, it’s not that hard to pick him out. He’s the one needing a scooter to prop up his injured leg.

When asked about the video, Jones smiled and said, “I don’t know what you guys are talking about. You can’t prove it because you can’t see my face.”

Then he admitted he couldn’t hide his identity effectively: “The scooter really sold me out.”

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter @MarkSportsStar.

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